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HC asks authorities to issue passport to Indian-origin woman staying in France

HC asks authorities to issue passport to Indian-origin woman staying in France
May 07
11:47 2019

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has directed the authorities to issue a passport to an Indian-origin woman staying in France, whose travel document was confiscated and citizenship revoked.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the passport authorities May 2 to issue the passport to the woman within four weeks.

The court was hearing a petition filed on behalf of the petitioner, Hajra Topia, who had gone to France, where her husband was earlier living in asylum, and in March 2015, her passport was confiscated without furnishing any reason by the authorities.

The petition, filed through advocates Ejaz Maqbool, Raghavendra M. Bajaj and Garima Bajaj, said the woman was issued a French Residency Card for 10 years and it was due to expire July 1.
It said in September 2014, the woman’s husband applied for cancellation of his refugee status and it was cancelled as renounced and he applied for family immigration status in France, which was also granted.

The man applied for renewal of his passport but he inadvertently failed to mention about his previous renouncement of refugee status, it said.
On March 15, 2015, the woman and her husband were called by the passport authorities on the pretext of some enquiries and their passports were confiscated without furnishing any reason, the plea said.

It added that later, the woman’s husband was informed by the Indian Embassy in Paris that since his request for asylum had been accepted by the French government, he had lost his Indian citizenship and that it would apply to his family members also.

In April 2016, the man and his children were granted French citizenship and in January 2018, he applied for Indian visa for himself and his children.
However, the woman was unable to travel to India and had to stay in France as her passport was impounded, the petition said.
It added that the woman had made a representation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, but to no avail, after which she approached the high court. PTI

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