Delhi HC asks Centre to reconsider issuing fresh OCI card to a petitioner

New Delhi [India], August 14 ): The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre and authorities concerned to reconsider the application of a man for a fresh Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card keeping in mind his educational qualifications and credentials.
Justice Prathiba M Singh granted permission to Asif Hakim Adil to apply for an OCI card afresh and directed the authorities could take a fresh look at the petitioner’s application, without being affected by the previous cancellation in any manner whatsoever. “Having perused the status report of the Union of India and also the document placed on record by the Petitioner, before going into the merits or demerits of the allegations raised and the contentions of the parties, this Court put it to the ASG as to whether keeping in mind the educational qualifications and credentials of the Petitioner, the authorities would reconsider the application of the petitioner for a fresh OCI card. The answer was in the affirmative,” the court said.
The court noted that a fresh application seeking OCI will be filed with the Indian Consulate closest to his residence in the US or in the VFS or other processing agency and the application be considered and processed in accordance with the law. The decision on the Petitioner’s application shall be taken on or before September 25 and the parties to report on the developments, if any, by the next date of hearing.
Needless to add, if the authority processing the OCI card application wishes to interact with or meet the Petitioner, such a meeting could be arranged through video conferencing or through an online platform, the court said.
The court also clarified that no observations made in this order would affect the merits of the contentions of either of the parties and listed the matter for further hearing on October 5.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by Asif Hakim Adil seeking quashing of order dated February 7, 2020, cancelling his Overseas Citizen of India card (OCI).
Petitioner was born in India on April 24, 1954, and did his LLB studies in Mumbai, and also worked as a lecturer for some time. Between 1978 to 1989, the Petitioner moved to the US to complete his MBA from Cornell University. He thereafter joined various companies and corporate houses in the US. Between 1993 to 1999, he moved with his family to India and worked as a partner in McKinsey & Company in Mumbai.
On December 7, 2006, the Petitioner was issued an erstwhile person of Indian Origin card and later was granted his OCI card on May 18, 2016.
However, on March 2, 2019, when the petitioner reached Mumbai by Qatar Airways, he was stopped at the Airport and his OCI card was confiscated and he was deported back.
The petitioner said that the confiscation of his OCI card is completely contrary to law.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and lawyer Nidhi Raman, counsel appearing for Centre relied upon some material filed in a sealed cover before the Court to justify the adverse remark against the petitioner.
The petitioner has also placed on record a confidential document to establish his credibility and his impeccable credentials.
Advocates Febin M Varghese and Dhiraj A Philip appeared for the petitioner.

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