Calcutta High Court on Thrusday (March 5, 2020) asked if the Foreigners Act, 1946 were relevant now while hearing a petition by a Polish student who has been asked to leave India for allegedly taking part in an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally. The court of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya also stayed the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO), which comes under the Union Home Ministry, order asking Jadavpur University Polish student Kamil Sedchinski to leave India by March 9 for anti-government activities till March 18 when the court will pass an order on his petition.
Kamil Sedchinski, studying for his post-graduate degree in the Department of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, was summoned by the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office and interrogated after which he was served a 'Leave India Notice' dated February 14, 2020. Since he received the notice on February 24, he was required to leave the country by March 9.
During the hearing, Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya also raised a question on the Foreigners Act, 1946 which was enacted when India was under British rule.
Kamil Sedchinski's lawyer Jayanta Mitra argued that several laws have been changed over time and since rules and regulations are made on the basis of the society, hence a change is required in the above law too. He argued that there should be a reasonable reason behind a foreign student being asked to leave India.
However, this was countered by FRRO lawyer Phiroj Edulji who pointed out that even if Sedchinski is a good student, but that does not mean he could raise a question on the sovereignty of the country. The FFRO lawyer added that a student, who is not a citizen of India, could not get such a preference in the name freedom of speech.