The Madras High Court has dismissed a writ petition filed by an individual to forbear the Ministry of External Affairs as well as the Home Ministry from registering the declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship or granting No Objection Certificate for such renunciation by his 25-year-old daughter who had converted to Islam, married a Bangladeshi and settled down in Dhaka.
Justice Abdul Quddhose rejected the writ petition pending since 2020 after taking note that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had closed the abduction case registered at the instance of the petitioner Vinith Baid and the closure report was filed before a Special Court at Poonnamalee on May 15 this year. After taking the report on file, the special court had reserved orders on August 12.
It was the petitioner’s case that his daughter was a victim of radicalization, undue influence, coercion, abduction and captivity violating all her rights and human dignity and therefore any consent or clearance by the Centre for grant of citizenship of Bangladesh to her would damage the chances of her retrieval. The petitioner also said the abduction case was taken up for probe by the NIA.
However, the judge pointed out that the petitioner had also filed a habeas corpus petition in 2021 and sought a direction to the Centre to deport his daughter. A Division Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and A.A. Nakkiran closed the HCP on February 22, 2021 after talking to the woman through video call and on being convinced that she was residing in Bangladesh with her husband and that no one had abducted her.
The NIA had organised the video call and the petitioner’s daughter spoke to the two judges from the office of an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Dhaka. V.P. Chakraborthy from the Indian High Commission in Dhaka was also present along with her when she interacted with the judges. The woman told the Bench that she got attracted towards Islam when she was studying in London University in 2018.
Therefore, she converted and got married to a Bangladesh national. The judges permitted her parents to talk to her during the video call. They tried to convince her to come down to India but in vain. She asserted she was not under duress or coercion of anyone and that she got married on her own volition. However, her parents expressed their anguish that she was under the influence of her handlers in Dhaka.
Convinced with the conversation, the judges held they could not go beyond and order her extradition to India. Therefore, there was no merit in the writ petition seeking to restrain the Centre from allowing the woman to renounce her citizenship, if she wishes to do so, Justice Quddhose said.