A Pakistani woman who was to be deported on Thursday, got a breather from a court which directed the authorities concerned not to send her back in haste since it is her right to challenge the deportation before a higher court. The same court had earlier issued an order directing her immediate deportation for residing in the country without valid documents or permission from Indian authorities for the past 20 years.

Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar passed the order a week after he had directed the woman, Nuzhat Jahan, to be deported to Pakistan since her visa had expired in 1993 and her stay since then is illegal.

ASJ Kumar directed the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) not to deport Nuzhat in haste after her husband Mohd. Gulfam told the court that his wife intends to appeal against her conviction before the Delhi High Court.

ASJ Kumar had on May 2 sentenced Nuzhat to six days in jail and asked the Delhi Government to deport her to Pakistan without any delay. The court was informed by Tihar Jail that the FRRO had made all arrangements to deport her on Thursday.

Considering Gulfam’s plea that his wife wants to challenge the order before the High Court, ASJ Kumar said: “Every seeker of justice, even if a citizen of any other country, is entitled to equality before law and equal protection of law. Similarly, wife of applicant (Gulfam) who entered India on a valid visa is also entitled to protection of law. Gulfam expressed intention of his wife in filing revision petition against the judgment of the court and according to law, she has got a period of 60 days for filing the revision petition”.

“Therefore, it would be in the interest of justice that FRRO (Pak section) should wait and not take any action in haste for deportation of convict when she is going to file revision petition before High Court,” the court noted.

In the application on behalf of Nuzhat, Gulfam also told the court that he has already deposited the penalty for delay in getting the visa extended and her application for Indian citizenship is pending in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Nuzhat got married to Gulfam, an Indian national, on August 2, 1983, and came to India on May 23, 1985.

“Every seeker of justice, even if a citizen of any other country, is entitled to equality before law.”