Karnataka

HC directive to government on overstaying foreign students

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It wants submission of details about such students and cases registered against them

Observing that instances of involvement of students from foreign countries in narcotics and other crimes may pose threat to security in the State, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to submit details about overstaying students and cases registered against them.

Justice Aravind Kumar issued the direction during the hearing of a petition filed by Hossie Bikandou Sidney, a Congolese national, who came to the city for pursuing education.

The court asked the Advocate-General to instruct the State authorities concerned to get necessary details from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Bengaluru, and also inform the court about the actions taken for deporting the overstaying foreign nationals as per the procedure.

Also, the court observed that it had noticed that students hailing from Tanzania, Congo, Cambodia and other countries had been found associated with narcotics and other crimes while observing that quick action was required to initiate action in cases of overstaying beyond the visa period.

In his petition, Mr. Sidney contended that the trial against him could not commence before a trial court as the other accused persons were absconding. The petitioner, along with three others, were arrested by the Bengaluru city police in February 2017 on charges of violating the conditions of the visa under the Foreigners Act.

It was contended on behalf of the petitioner that he was unable to go back to his country despite having emergent situations at his native place as his passport had been impounded owing to pendency of the trial. Further hearing was adjourned.

Earlier order

The court in its February 18, 2016 judgement on a petition filed by Christian Chidieere Chukwu of Nigeria, had noticed from the data that there were around 1,165 foreign nationals overstaying in the State, and as many as 330 criminal cases were registered against foreign nationals for various crimes like violation of Foreigners Act and involvement in drug peddling.

The court also directed that there should be periodic meetings between officials of the FRRO and the State agencies to share the information like places where foreign nationals were employed, places where they were staying and studying, etc.

Besides, the court had directed that the courts expedite the trial of cases in which foreign nationals were involved.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:03:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hc-directive-to-government-on-overstaying-foreign-students/article26526084.ece

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