Indian SC orders
release of 62-year-old
Pak national lodged
in detention centre

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Central government to release a 62-year-old Pakistan national, who has been languishing in a detention centre here for more than seven years, after Islamabad refused to accept him as its citizen.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli directed the government to decide on granting him a long-term visa, to enable him to apply for Indian Citizenship and asked it to place its decision before the court in four months. The Court released Mohammad Qamar, who has been declared a foreigner by the tribunal, on condition to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5,000 and two sureties of the like amount and his permanent address in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, where he proposes to stay.

Indian Supreme Court

The apex court further directed him to report to the local police station once in a month.
Although he had completed his sentence of three years imprisonment imposed on him by a Magistrate under the Foreigners Act in February 2015, he was sent to the detention centre at Lampur in Narela, Delhi, for deportation but Pakistan refused to accept him as its citizen and he is still languishing at the detention centre.
The top court noted that Qamar had married a woman, who is an Indian citizen and had five children out of wedlock. His daughter and son have filed a plea seeking his release from the detention centre.
The apex court further took note that as per the Uttar Pradesh government, his wife had divorced him and now stays in Delhi with her five children. It also took into that no document pertaining to the divorce has been produced before the court.
It also noted the statement of the Ministry of Home Affairs that though Pakistan was given consular access to the detenu twice in 2019, the Pakistan government is yet to confirm his nationality which is necessary for his deportation.
Qamar was arrested on August 8, 2011, from Meerut and was held guilty by a court here for overstaying his visa and was sentenced to three years and six months in jail and a fine of Rs 500.
According to his children, their father Qamar alias Mohammad Kamil was born in India in 1959.
The habeas corpus filed in the top court said, “He (Qamar) had gone with his mother from India to Pakistan as a child of around 7-8 years in 1967-1968 on a visa to meet his relatives there. However, his mother died there, and he remained in Pakistan in the care of his relatives.”
On attaining adulthood, Qamar came back to India on a Pakistani passport around 1989-1990 and got married to Shehnaaj Begum, an Indian citizen, in Meerut, they said.
The plea said that Qamar has no documentary proof to show that he had gone with his mother to Pakistan around 1967-68 and his mother died there therefore, his story has not been believed.
It added, “Nevertheless, the undisputed fact is that he came to India around 1989-90 on a passport of Pakistan and did not renew his visa due to lack of education and, subsequently, got married here.” In Meerut, he was doing menial jobs and residing there along with his family, who all have Aadhaar cards issued by UIDAI, the plea stated. (ANI)