Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to respond to a petition seeking a direction to allow a 27-year-old man hailing from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), who had "accidentally" entered India when he was a child, to return to his native place.
Justices Ajay Khanwilkar and A R Joshi asked the Union Government to file a reply within a week and deferred the matter to July 31.
The Centre asked for a month`s time to file a reply but the court allowed only a week to file an affidavit saying petitioner Siraj Khan has mentioned urgency in the matter as his parents were aged and seriously ill.
Khan, who claims to have accidentally crossed Attari border in 1995 when he was nine-year-old, prayed that he was not getting a suitable job here and the only way to live with dignity and pride was to return home in PoK.
According to Siraj`s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi, the petitioner was born in 1985 at Manshera in PoK. As his parents insisted that he should go to school every day, he got fed up and decided to run away. One day he bunked school and caught a train which took him to Attari border from where he crossed into India with a group of people.
Eventually, Siraj reached Delhi in December, 1995. After a few days he went to Varanasi where he worked as a waiter in a restaurant. Later, he came to Mumbai.
However, in 1998 when he tried to return to PoK he was caught by a railway ticket examiner in Ahmedabad who handed him over to police. He then spent a year in a juvenile home in Gujarat and was released in 1999.
Thereafter, he came back to Mumbai and got a job in a catering company.
Once again he attempted to go to PoK from Wagah border. But the authorities denied him entry and threatened to put him behind bars, Siraj said in the petition.
Siraj returned to Mumbai where he met Sajida and married her. They have three kids and stay in Wadala here.
He once again tried to go to PoK and visited CID office. He was then handed over to police and arrested under Passport Act and Foreign Citizen Act. Later, he got bail.