Every Violation of Visa Norm can’t Ban Person from Entering Country


July 25, 2018

Case name: Mohammad Abdul Moyeed v. Union of India & Ors.

Date of Judgment: July 20, 2018

Two essential observations was made by the High Court of Delhi in the case. Firstly, the Court noted that every violation of visa norm cannot possibly lead to banning a person from entering into the country unless there is material to show that the person concerned acted in a manner which was inimical to our national interest and Secondly, that profiling a person solely on the basis of the religion he or she practices is contrary to our constitutional creed.

The petitioner seeks to enter India but has been denied permission to do so as he has been, put on a “Blacklist” by the respondents. The petitioner was born and brought up in India migrated to Canada in 1997 and thereafter, applied and consequently, acquired Canadian citizenship in May, 2001.

The petitioner was denied entry into India when he landed in India on 28.12.2015. Apparently, the petitioner has been blacklisted for his involvement in Tabligh activities.

The Respondents in the case have alleged that since no permission was given to the petitioner to carry on Tabligh work and the fact that he had entered the country on a tourist visa led to the petitioner being put on the Blacklist.

Bench’s Verdict

The issues that fell for consideration before the High Court of Delhi in the case are as under:

Whether the petitioner was entitled to invoke the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution?

In the aforesaid regard, the High Court observed that Constitution of India makes it clear that certain fundamental rights provided in Part III are available only to the citizens of this country. Articles 15, 16 and 19 fall in this category, while the protection afforded by Article 14 and 21, amongst others, and is also available to persons who are not citizens of India.

Therefore, though the petitioner, was an Indian national and upon migration to Canada, gave up his Indian citizenship, he would also be entitled to invoke the provisions of Article 21 of Constitution of India on the ground that his personal liberty was fettered by denying him entry in the country, as that, in effect, prevented him from interfacing and mingling with members of his family who were domiciled in India.

The Court further observed that the fact that the petitioner’s Indian wife and his children from her are Indian passport holders and are residing in Hyderabad, also strengthened his case for invoking the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution.

With reference to the Respondent’s contention that Petitioner was carrying on Talibagh work and hence was blacklisted, the High Court of Delhi observed that the Tabligh work, was not a banned activity as it finds mention in the Visa Manual and there was no material on record which demonstrated that the petitioner wanted to propagate the idea of Muslims uniting and fighting against the western countries and USA or that he was involved in arranging funds for anti-national groups.

Principles of natural justice- The High Court noted that the respondents have denied him the right to visit his family members residing in India without giving him an opportunity to explain himself. In this context the Court observed that though the provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 do not provide for a pre-decisional hearing, it is well settled that even if a statute does not provide for a personal hearing, the said right will be read into the statute.

Also read SC on Applicability of Principles of Natural Justice when Statute is Silent about the Principles

In view of the aforesaid, the High Court directed the respondent to reconsider their decision.

The High Court also observed in the case that every violation of visa norm cannot possibly lead to banning a person from entering into the country unless there is material to show that the person concerned acted in a manner which was inimical to our national interest.

That profiling a person solely on the basis of the religion he or she practices is contrary to our constitutional creed.

The entire case can be accessed here.