HC bars govt from deporting SL woman seeking citizenship

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CITYHC bars govt from deporting SL woman seeking citizenship
Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Feb 17, 2020, 04:09 IST


Madurai: Madras high court has restrained the central and state governments from deporting a Sri Lankan woman living in Sivaganga back to her country till a decision is taken by the authorities on her citizenship application submitted in 2018.

Justice S S Sundar passed the order while hearing two petitions filed by Veeran Manonmani in 2018. She had sought a direction to the central government to consider her citizenship application under section 5 (1)(c) of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Subsequently she had filed another petition seeking a direction not to deport her or take any adverse action till the disposal of the application.

Manonmani had got married to Kurumbiah Karuppiah, an Indian citizen, in 2003 and her marriage was registered by the registrar of marriage at Thirupathur in Sivaganga district. She has been living with her husband at her matrimonial home all these years. The petitioner registered herself with the foreigners registration officer-cum-superintendent of police at Sivaganga and her visa was extended periodically by the officer.
The petitioner applied for citizenship through the online portal maintained by the joint secretary of foreigners division of the home ministry on June 7, 2018. Since the application was kept pending and stay visa was to expire on October 11, 2018, she apprehended that the authorities might deport her without disposing of her application for citizenship. The counsel appearing for the ministry submitted that the petitioner’s application is under consideration subject to several regulations and in accordance with law. However, he further submitted that the petitioner’s application has not been forwarded with the collector’s recommendations.

On perusal of the submissions, the judge directed the collector to forward Manonmani’s application to the ministry along with the recommendations within two months. He further directed the ministry to dispose of the petitioner’s online application on merit and in accordance with law within four months thereafter. The judge restrained the authorities from deporting or taking coercive steps against the petitioner under the Foreigners Act till the disposal of the citizenship application. The court also recorded the statement of the additional government pleader giving the assurance.

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