The Delhi High Court Monday directed the central government to regulate the procedure for issuing visas to terminally ill foreign nationals, some of whom are suspected of serving as carriers for drug traffickers.
The court issued notices to the union home and external affairs ministries on issuing visas to foreign nationals who are terminally ill and who intend to visit the country for non-medical purpose.
A division bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mool Chand Garg said terminally ill visa seekers should carry a doctor’s certificate at the time of applying for travel documents.
The bench also asked the ministries to frame guidelines within two weeks for regulating the procedure to be followed while issuing visas to such foreign nationals.
“The policy should emphasize on mandatory medical checks of citizens of certain countries involved in excessive drug trafficking to India,” said the bench.
Both the ministries have been asked to file a reply by Aug 17.
As per the order, the policy should stress on the requirement of certification by a doctor pertaining to the health of the terminally ill foreign national who intends to visit India for a purpose other than medical.
The order followed concerns expressed by counsel for the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Satish Aggarwala, while contesting a case in the court.
Aggarwala said drug traffickers have started using terminally ill patients as transporters of narcotics.