Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to grant any help to a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) who had sought directions to be given to the Union government for issuance of a visa to his Pakistani national wife.
Bhavin Chandrapota, a NRI working in Dubai had approached a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Mahesh Sonak through his counsel Rishul Mehta. Chandrapota married his Hindu wife, who is a Pakistani national in August 2014 in Mumbai.
Mehta informed the bench that after his client’s marriage, the couple returned to Dubai as Chandrapota works in the sales department of a trading company. He informed the bench that during the last two years, the couple has visited India a few times after fulfilling all the required documentations. He further said that the couple wishes to visit India to attend a cousin’s marriage scheduled to take place in February 2017.
“According to the rules framed for issuing a visa to a non-Indian for visiting relatives based here, they have to fill a ‘guarantor’ form by a relative who resides in India. The form needs to be verified by a Class I officer of the Central government or a gazetted officer. None of the officers, be it an IPS or IAS are ready to sign the documents of my client’s wife, though all her other documentation is complete,” Mehta argued.
The bench however held that it cannot ‘compel’ someone to sign documents citing legal limitations and refused to hear the petition.
Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Chandrapota said, “I am residing in Dubai since the last 10 years and still hold an Indian passport. While, my wife holds a Pakistani passport and this has become the biggest problem for us. Her family resides in India and she has not met them since last two years.”
“The Class I authorities in India have signed my documents but they are not ready to sign my wife’s documents. It is very distressing that the officials are not even seeing her documents. It is not like all Pakistanis are criminals,” he added.
Narrating his ordeal, Chandrapota said, “I am forced to run from pillar to post to get the necessary documentation done. I had gone to Mantralaya but the officials there denied meeting me. I made an attempt to approach Union Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj through twitter and also Vikas Swaroop, the spokesperson of the ministry. There has been no reply from them. I feel
so let down by the government officials.”
“I think the recent tensions between the two countries are a reason for all this but I want to bring my wife in India legally and not through some illegal way,” Chandrapota added.