Contrary to reports that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs had sought a “detailed report” from the Indian High Commission in the U.K. about its reported refusal to grant V.S. Naipaul a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card, High Commission sources on Tuesday said they had not received any instruction.
“We have had no instructions from New Delhi,” a spokesperson said reacting to an agency report which quoted A. Didar Singh, Secretary in the Ministry, as saying: “We have sought a report from our High Commission about the whole issue.”
About the allegation that the High Commission refused the Nobel Laureate a PIO card as he did not have proper documents, India House said in a statement: “No application has been made by Sir V.S. Naipaul for a PIO card. Lady Nadira Naipaul had visited the High Commission some three months ago and made enquiries about the procedures regarding application for a PIO card for her husband, which were explained to her by the officials concerned of the High Commission. These procedures are also on the High Commission's website.”
The row erupted after Lady Nadira was reported as saying she was told by officials in the High Commission that Sir Vidia should get a certificate from a tehsildar or magistrate in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, his place of birth, that he was a person of Indian origin.