Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: A foreigner cannot live in India if he/she does not comply with the laws of our country, ruled the Bombay High Court recently, while asking a senior citizen to leave the country.

The court refused to allow an Armenian national to reside in India with her daughter, who has married an Indian national as the foreigner had ‘overstayed’ for more than 18 months.

A bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel refused to grant any relief to the 71-year-old woman, who had entered India in October 2010 on a tourist visa, which according to her was extended from time to time till October 2018.

However, from October 2018 till date, the foreigner, who resides with her daughter and son-in-law at Jogeshwari, did not visit the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in the city.

Subsequently, the septuagenarian was served with a ‘Leave India Notice’ issued by the authorities for failing to seek an extension of her visa and also for not paying fees for the same.

While challenging the notice, the woman pleaded before the bench led by Justice Dharmadhikari that she was a senior citizen who was residing alone and there was none to take care of her. It was, therefore, decided by her children that she would reside in India.

The foreigner further claimed to have sent all the documents to the concerned authorities and pointed out that whenever she visited the FRRO office, an assurance was given that she won’t be relocated.

Having heard the contentions, the bench vetted the documents placed on record by the authorities. “On a tourist visa or a similar category of visa one cannot reside indefinitely or as a dependent, and without any extension in the period prescribed in the issued document.

The foreigner woman, before us has never sought any other visa other than a tourist visa,” the judges noted.

“To our mind, therefore, neither there is any illegality nor perversity in the impugned communication i.e. Leave India notice, issued by the authorities,” the bench said.

While dealing with her plea, the bench further noted that the authorities had several times asked the woman to approach the local FRRO to pay the requisite fees for renewal of the visa.

“But she did not turn up to pay the fees and continued to stay in India illegally. That is impermissible in terms of the Foreigners Act of 1946. She does not abide by the law,” the bench noted.

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