Delhi HC asks Centre to reconsider fresh OCI card plea in view of man’s educational qualifications



NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to reconsider an Indian’s application for a fresh Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card without being affected by the previous cancellation, keeping in mind his educational qualifications and credentials.

Justice Prathiba M Singh permitted the man to apply for an OCI card afresh by August 22 with the Indian Consulate closest to his residence in the US or with any other processing agency. “The application be considered and processed in accordance with law. The decision on the petitioner’s application shall be taken on or before September 25, 2021,” the court said.

The court was hearing a plea by Asif Hakim Adil, represented through advocates Febin M Varghese and Dhiraj A Philip, seeking quashing of a February 7, 2020 order passed by the Ministry of Home Affairs cancelling his OCI card.

The court perused the documents produced by the Centre in a sealed cover as per which the basis for cancellation of Adil’s OCI card appeared to be an SIT, Mumbai report revealing certain alleged facts. Thereafter, a status report was also filed by the Centre in a sealed cover and the material on the basis of which the authorities were justifying the suspension/ cancellation of the OCI card.

The court also perused a confidential document placed by the man to establish his credibility and impeccable credentials.

On being asked by the court whether keeping in mind the educational qualifications and credentials of the man, the authorities would reconsider the application of Adil for a fresh OCI card, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma answered in the affirmative.

“Accordingly, the petitioner is permitted to apply for an OCI card afresh. The authorities could take a fresh look at the petitioner’s application, without being affected by the previous cancellation in any manner whatsoever,” the court said.

It also said if the authority processing the OCI card application wishes to interact with or meet the petitioner, the meeting could be arranged through video conferencing or through an online platform. Adil had moved to the US between 1978 and 1989 to complete his MBA from Cornell University and to work at various companies there.

Thereafter, he came back to India with his family and started a business in Mumbai. In 2006, he was issued a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card and then in May 2016, he was granted an OCI card. However, in March 2019, when he reached Mumbai by Qatar Airways, he was stopped at the airport and his OCI card was confiscated and he was deported back.

According to Adil, the confiscation of his OCI card was completely contrary to law and he approached the court.

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