Enforce laws on foreigners: HC

Enforce laws on foreigners: HC

The High Court on Thursday observed ''As India is facing serious terror threats, national security is a top priority. The State government must ensure strict compliance of the provisions of the Foreigners Act or Foreigners Order, 1948.''

While refusing to grant bail to three Nigerian nationals, Christian Chidieere Chukwu, who is charged for rape and criminal intimidation, Emeka Fabian and Onuoha, both booked for fraud under cyber crimes, Justice A V Chandrashekara said that if a foreigner is convicted and is sentenced to undergo imprisonment, steps must be taken to ‘deport’ such persons.

The ­government had submitted that the memorandum of the Home Ministry on March 12, 2014, with regard to the blacklisting and penalising overstaying foreigners, runs contrary to the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946, and Foreigners’ Order, 1948.

To this, the bench said that it was for the Ministry to ‘re-think’ whether such long period of overstay could be condoned by collecting a fine instead of booking such persons for violating the laws.

The bench said, “While convicting a foreigner either on the basis of such person pleading guilty or the court finding him guilty after contest, the court will have to consider the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, while imposing sentence.
A positive attempt must be made by the courts dealing with foreigners by recording evidence and writing judgments in English. This court expects that there should not be any ‘flea bite’ sentence and the courts can use discretion in exceptional cases to impose lesser punishment and there must be exceptional grounds to adopt such a course.” 

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