‘We will not allow the child to be separated from the mother even for a minute if…’, Bombay HC fumes over Centre’s counsel on Russian woman’s plea

Bombay HC: Justice Patel further said that your idea of ​​governance that all citizens are suspects is not suitable for us.

Omkar Gokhale

Bombay HC: The Bombay High Court on Monday expressed its displeasure over the Centre’s stand on a petition by a Russian woman. The woman was earlier married to an Indian. At present he also has a daughter. After the woman got divorced, the central government had issued her an exit permit to leave the country. Hearing a petition by a 38-year-old Russian woman, a division bench of Justice Gautam S Patel and Justice Neela K Gokhale said that a nursing mother should not be separated from her newborn child because of her nationality.

This petition was filed by that woman. Whose present husband is from India only. He has a minor daughter. The woman has a minor son from her previous husband. The woman’s first husband was also an Indian. The Russian woman challenged in the Bombay High Court the notice to leave the country issued by the police on the instructions of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Pointing out the special circumstances, the bench asked the authorities to take a humane approach. The bench also said that the idea of ​​the government that all citizens should be treated as suspects is not justified. The Russian woman was married to an Indian national and had obtained X1 visa and OCI card. Later both of them separated. The woman gave her consent for the divorce. He had a son from this marriage.

After divorce, she married the petitioner man and they have a minor daughter, who is now more than six months old. In January, through a controversial order, the woman was asked to leave the country by March 23. Meanwhile, she had applied for OCI status on March 5 on the basis of her second marriage. Pending the hearing of her plea, the woman had sought a direction to the police to extend the exit permit.

No need to forcibly deport the woman from the country: Bombay HC

The bench said that there was no need to forcibly take the woman out of the country. The petition sought to know what should be done with regard to the rights of foreign-born spouses of citizens of India to apply for X category visas and OCI cards, and in particular, OCI cards and visas when married to an Indian citizen.

On Monday, advocate Rui Rodrigues, representing the central government, filed an affidavit in response. It was held that the impugned order was in accordance with the statutory requirements. The government should be given time to file an additional affidavit to clarify its position on the issue. Rodrigues said there were not enough grounds to show the special circumstances under which the woman could apply for citizenship.

Commenting on this, Justice Patel said, ‘Just be fair, sensible and have a humane approach towards the woman and her child. Don’t let nationality come in the way. We will not let even a minute separate. If it is not a special situation for the mother, then there is nothing in your argument.’

We will not allow the family to be ruined: HC

After Rodrigues argued that the marriage was necessary for her OCI status to continue. To this, the bench said, ‘Why would any government decide to treat and punish its own citizens? Is it because she is married to a foreign origin/foreign person? The bench said that it is as if the government is saying that you should not dare to marry a foreigner. We will not take away from the fact that in front of us is the mother of a six-month-old baby. We will not let this family be ruined.

When Rodrigues sought to file an additional affidavit to clarify his stand, Justice Patel said, “Don’t twist it.” Find solutions. We cannot accept your answer. We are telling you that you are wrong. There are indeed special circumstances. She is not asking for continuation of OCI after divorce. She is married to another Indian citizen.


Supreme Court: ‘We cannot decide which train stops where’, CJI DY Chandrachud reprimanded the petitioner

Justice Patel said, ‘You are saying that her OCI was in her first marriage…and therefore it cannot continue. It’s hard for us to understand your rules. You are also punishing an Indian citizen (male) and his daughter. We are trying to say something in the interest of the petitioner and the respondent to strike a balance. We do not like this action. Patel further said that your idea of ​​governance that all citizens are suspects does not suit us.

HC reprimanded the central government’s lawyer

Rodrigues then argued that there would be a temporary separation between the woman and her family. To which the bench said, “Your order says that the mother of the six-month-old child should leave the country and be separated from her husband and minor daughter.” You cannot do temporary separation. You are not entitled to interfere in the personal relations of the parties.

The bench continued its earlier interim relief granted to the petitioner and sought an additional affidavit from the Center by August 6 and response from the petitioner by August 11. It said that the matter will be next heard on August 21.


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