The foreigner who was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here after he disembarked from an Air India flight two days ago should have been deported to the port of departure within 24 hours by the airline, says an official.

Soon after the passenger landed, immigration officials intercepted him as he did not possess any travel document. They handed him over to airline authorities on Friday evening.

“In such cases, immigration officials fill out a ‘refusal form’ stating the person cannot be allowed into the country as he does not have any valid travel papers. A notice is then issued to the airline concerned to remove the passenger to the port of departure within 24 hours or on board the next available flight,” according to the official.

The passenger is taken to the refusal room and the airline has to bear the cost of his stay. If required, the person is put through joint interrogation by intelligence officials as per set procedures. In this case, the foreigner “has not been giving coherent replies.”

It is the sole responsibility of the airline to deport him.

Recalling a similar incident, another official said that in mid-1990s immigration officials allowed by mistake an Iranian who was not carrying any travel document. He was made to stay in the ‘refusal room’ as he initially claimed that he was from Jammu and Kashmir. However, he was later identified as an Iranian.

Subsequently, the airline concerned was directed to remove him to the port of departure, Paris. He was again sent back to India, following which Iranian Embassy officials were contacted and emergency papers prepared to facilitate his travel back to his country.

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