KOCHI: Kerala High Court on Tuesday quashed a criminal case against two Pakistan nationals — Imran Muhammed and Ali Asghar — under the Foreigners Act and ordered to issue a police clearance certificate for their exit travel from India to Pakistan. They had come down here to avail treatment for Imran Muhammed.
“It is expected that when foreign nationals are involved, responsible officials will exhibit a little bit more sensibility and act cautiously. An exception has to be taken for registering a crime at the drop of a hat. Here, absolutely no reason is made out for initiating criminal prosecution against the petitioners who had reached India with valid travel documents; their arrival was duly intimated to the Special Branch and Special Branch officials were monitoring them,” observed Justice K Haripal.
The petitioners submitted that on their arrival, the city police commissioner was contacted and the commissioner informed that Special Branch, Ernakulam is the designated authority. Accordingly, the hospital contacted officials of Special Branch, Ernakulam by telephone and informed them of the arrival of petitioners within 24 hours. The Special Branch asked the hospital to email photographs of the Pak citizens.
After the treatment, their plan was to fly out to Chennai from Kochi and to leave for home from there. But on reaching Chennai, they were not allowed to leave the country for want of a police clearance certificate. Then they returned to Kochi and sought a police clearance certificate. But it was not issued and the police informed them that a case was registered against them under Sections 11 and 14 of the Foreigners Act.
The court observed that the case against Pak citizens was clearly an abuse of the process of law. The public prosecutor could not apprise the court of how Section 11 of the Foreigners Act can be applied in the given facts of the case. The court said they had reached India on a valid visa issued by the Indian Embassy in Muscat, Oman on August 18.
Imran Mohammed is a seriously ill person, with a cervical spinal cord injury and paralysis; he is in an immobile condition. Such a person cannot be expected to reach the police station and submit a report physically. Ali Asghar is his medical attendant. The hospital authorities intimated details regarding their visit to the police. The police action against the petitioners cannot be justified.