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Judiciary

Karnataka HC junks Iraqi's plea through Indian Special Power of Attorney holder, for entry into India on spurious medical grounds

By Shreya Agarwal      20 June, 2024 05:39 PM      0 Comments
Karnataka HC junks Iraqis plea through Indian Special Power of Attorney holder for entry into India on spurious medical grounds

BENGALURU: The High Court of Karnataka has refused to entertain the writ petition of an Iraqi national to enter India, filed by executing a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) noting that the Iraqi man was blacklisted twice earlier, and was attempting to enter on spurious medical grounds.

The Court noted that 33-year-old Sagad Kareem Ismael had even changed the spelling of his name, hoping to mislead authorities, had obtained a new passport, secured a medical certificate from a hospital in Baghdad for treatment in a private hospital in Bengaluru.

It therefore cautioned authorities to not blindly look into an opinion from a hospital in cases of medical visa applications.

After his application was still rejected, he approached the Karnataka High Court in a writ petition filed through his SPA holder, Muntandher Ahmed, 22, of Bengaluru.

However, dismissing his plea, the Court held that a foreign national cannot execute an SPA sitting elsewhere in the world, for filing a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna held, “The power of attorney is admittedly executed invoking the Powers of Attorney Act, 1882. The Act nowhere permits a foreign national to sit somewhere in the globe, execute a power of attorney invoking the Act and seek to get entertainment of a petition or a case before any courts in India. The petitioner is wanting to do what the Act does not permit him to do.”

It added, “Such power of attorneys which are executed by foreign nationals invoking the Act cannot be recognized, and is sans countenance.”

Looking into the specific facts of the case, wherein the petitioner prayed for directions for consideration of his Medical Visa application, the Court also held, “Foreign Regional Registration Officer of FRRO should cautiously deal with such applications as the petitioner has been granted medical Visa not once but twice when he has overstayed for more than two years and should not also blindly look into an opinion from the hospital and grant such Visas as bona fides of the petitioner or the persons like the petitioners are always a suspect.”

Further looking into the history of the case, the Court expressed serious doubts on Sagad's bona fides, noting that, he was blacklisted in 2017 till May 2019, for overstaying for 11 months without any reason in 2017. During this blacklisting period, he attempted re-entry on a different type of Visa (Medical Attendant Visa), which he was again refused.

Thereafter, he again secured a medical Visa during the Covid-19 pandemic, entered India in December, 2019, and stayed till December 2021 - leaving only when an exit permit was again issued on him.

During the period of processing of the exit permit, Sagad even removed the Visa sticker for medical attendant Visa from pages 14 and 15 and the communication of refusal of Visa due to blacklisting.

This was complemented with the changing of his name to Sagad Kareem Ismael.

Keeping all the above factors in mind, the Court junked Ismael's plea, stating that Sagad's falsities brought to light by the Union of India, had also deliberately been suppressed in his plea.

While this in the Court's opinion warranted imposition of exemplary costs on the petitioner, the Court gave him the benefit of doubt saying the SPA holder "would not be aware of these factors".

Petitioner's arguments

Sagad said that he both him and his SPA holder hold subsisting passports of their respective countries, however, he could not represent himself due to his inability to travel to India on account of the Visa refusal to him.

He further pleaded medical grounds stating that the doctor, at Aster, CMI Hospital has recommended an initial treatment of 3 months, extendable later as per needs.

Union of India's arguments

Mostly arguing on his dubious antecedents and established history of overstaying his Visa, the Union of India opposed the plea.

Sagad first visited India in 2012 on a student Visa, to study B-Pharma in two colleges in Bangalore - a course which reached completion in 2017.

He departed then after overstaying for 11 months, and was blacklisted.

Despite that he attempted to travel to India on 03.11.2017 on a medical attendant Visa, was refused entry, and approached the High Court in 2020 in a plea which is still pending.

Cause Title: Sagad Kareem Ismael AND Union of India & Others 



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