Indian High Commission to probe Naipaul PIO card row

Indian High Commission to probe Naipaul PIO card row

Naipaul, who currently lives in Wiltshire, Britain, apparently wanted the card as it would enable him to travel visa-free to India.

It is learnt that his wife, Lady Nadira, approached the Indian High Commission at India House in London three months ago inquiring how to apply for such a card.

She was reportedly told by an official that the Trinidad-born Naipaul would have to go to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh - where his family hailed from -- and fetch a certificate of origin from the office of the local 'tehsildar', according to a report in an Indian newspaper.
The report referred to Lady Nadira's indignation at the treatment meted out to her and her husband.

The high commission is yet to officially comment on the supposed incident. However, sources told IANS Monday that details were being sought from the concerned official who dealt with the case.

It is possible that the applicants may have been asked to furnish the list of relevant documents necessary for processing the application, the sources said, adding that what actually transpired and whether there is any truth in the charges need to be verified before an official comment is recommended.

According to rules, an applicant for a PIO card is eligible to do so provided he or she fulfills any of three criterias.

The criteria are, the application should be one (1) who at any time held an Indian passport; (2) he/she or either of his/her parents or grandparents or great grandparents was born in and permanently resident in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 and other territories that became part of India thereafter provided neither was at any time a citizen of any country as may be specified by the central government from time to time; (3) who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a Person of Indian Origin as mentioned above.

The PIO scheme covers up to four generations and also the foreign spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO.

Documents the applicant has to submit along with the application include the existing, valid passport in original and the expired Indian passport in original or any two or more of six documents.

These include, photocopy of expired Indian passport, letter from British Home Office confirming Indian origin, Indian passport or its photocopies of parents or grand parents of the applicant, birth certificate of the applicant and of the parents or grand parents of the applicant, nationality certificates of the applicant and of the parents or grand parents, school or college leaving certificates of the applicant or parents of the applicant.