New Delhi: Asif Karadia, 51, who has lived in Mumbai since he was two years old, could be deported to Pakistan, after the high court said on Wednesday that it could not take a decision on his petition requesting that he be regarded an Indian citizen.
He filed the petition after the police sent him a notice in June asking him to produce a Pakistani passport or face deportation. In the petition, he says while he was born in Pakistan, his parents are Indians, as are his wife and three children, and that he has all important documents, such as PAN, Aadhar, voter ID and ration cards, and a domicile certificate.
He was born in Karachi, where his mother, a naturalised Indian originally from Pakistan, went for her delivery in 1965. Asif had applied for an Indian passport in 2012 when he wanted to on the Haj. But the authorities rejected his application and told him to apply for a long-term visa instead. Asif has had this long-term visa extended twice, and it was valid until last December.
“We never thought this would become such a big issue,” said Abbas, his distraught father, who is a co-petitioner. “Asif has never been to Pakistan again and doesn’t want citizenship of that country.”
A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai denied him interim relief and posted the case to January 17. The court also asked Asif’s lawyers how he was granted an Indian visa when he did not have a Pakistani passport.
Poornima Kantharia, the government lawyer, opposed relief to Asif at this stage, saying that he was not an Indian citizen and was living here illegally. Asif’s lawyers, Sujay Kantawala and Ashish Mehta, however, argued that since their petitioner’s parents, Abbas and Zaibunnisa, were Indian citizens, he was entitled become an Indian citizen.
His mother Zaibunnisa, originally a Pakistani citizen, married Abbas in 1962. She returned to her hometown Karachi to deliver her first son, who was Asif. She returned to India on a Pakistani passport before Asif turned two and applied for Indian citizenship, which she got in 1972.