The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to direct the Union government to remove entries reflecting a ‘Look Out Circular’ (LOC) prohibiting the departure and arrival of a Sri Lankan student at airports. The entries were made in the records and computers of the Chennai Airport as well as in the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka.
The petitioner N Saravanapavan could not claim that he is subjected to questioning by the authorities whenever he leaves or enters India, due to the LOC, nor can it be said to be a violation of his right as per the law made in India or per international convention. “Hence, there is no case made out by the petitioner,’’ Justice K Chandru said, and dismissed the writ petition.
Saravanapavan (50) a Sri Lankan national, entered India in 1988 on a student visa to pursue an MBBS course and joined the MMC. He had not finished his course even after 24 years and is now studying in the final Part-II course. He got his visa extended till July 13 this year by filing several writ petitions.
He was an accused in the Chennai Airport bomb blast case in 1984 and was convicted by the Chengalpattu Sessions Judge and sentenced to undergo life imprisonment. However, he filed an appeal and was acquitted in April 2000. He has also overstayed a tourist visa and committed visa violations due to which an LOC was issued against him.
However, he filed a writ petition and got a student visa in 2008, due to expire on July 13 this year, to enable him to appear for the MBBS examination.He filed the present petition alleging that he was being subjected to harassment at the airport in view of the LOC. Hence, the present writ petition.
Dismissing it, Justice Chandru observed that it was open to the Union government to restrict the movement of a foreigner as well as the residence and ambit of movement. The Supreme Court had held thatArticle 19(1)(d) and (e) were unavailable to foreigners and no provisions of Article 14 could be invoked to obtain the fundamental right to a foreigner.
Petitioner being a foreigner, his right, if any, was subject torestrictions imposed by the Centre. Hence, the prayer to withdraw it could not be countenanced especially in the context of the stand taken by the government that it was in the nature of surveilance, the judge said. (Source: The New Indian Express)