The court has now sought a response from the Centre as it
has decided to deport the Pakistani nationals arrested by the
Indian authorities on various charges, including alleged stay
in the country without valid passport or documents.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice
S Muralidhar sought the centre's response on a PIL filed by
Saifullah Bajwa through counsel Meenakshi Arora claiming that
all the petitioners were facing charges of blasphemy and the
Pakistani law prescribed life sentence or death penalty for
Following Centre's submission that there is no law in
India to provide shelter to such people who do not have any
valid document, the petitioners' counsel said UNHCR would send
them to either the United Kingdom or the Netherlands.
Last month, the government has sought a city court's
permission to withdraw all the cases lodged against these
Pakistanis. However, challenging the government's decision
the Pakistani nationals filed a petition seeking court's
intervention restraining the government from deporting them.
In April last year, these people had fled Pakistan due
to fear of prosecution on the charges of blasphemy as they
belonged to the Mehdi Foundation, a multi-faith spiritual
organisation that has been promoting the doctrine of divine
love since 1980.
The organisation is headed by Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi,
who had fled Pakistan and is presently based in United
Kingdom (UK) after Sindh High Court sentenced him to life
imprisonment on charges of blasphemy.
After coming to India, the petitioners had staged a
protest here at Jantar Mantar against Pakistani government and
burnt their passports besides burning the effigies of their
leaders. The Delhi police had arrested them on April 23 2007
for not having valid documents to stay here.
New Delhi, Dec 17: Sixty seven Pakistani nationals facing deportation have moved the Delhi High Court with a plea to refer their matter to the United National High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as they do not want to go back to their country.
First Published: Wednesday, December 17, 2008, 00:00