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Delhi High Court directs Centre to process Pakistani national’s application for Indian citizenship

In relief to a Pakistani woman living here for over 30 years and married to an Indian, the Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to process her application for citizenship.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru also asked the Centre to extend her visa till her application is finalised, noting that the petitioner has been residing in India since she was six months old.

The high court also issued notice to the Centre on her plea.

According to the plea, the petitioner’s mother was a citizen of India. She married a Pakistani on February 28, 1986 and moved to that country. She was thereafter issued a Pakistani visa.

The petitioner, Mahvish Farooq, was born on August 3, 1988 in Lahore and her mother had certain matrimonial issues with her husband after which she, along with her daughter, moved back to India on February 2, 1989.

Farooq claimed her parents’ marriage was dissolved on August 31, 1991 and her mother was registered as an Indian citizen on July 21, 1997.

Farooq completed her education in India and in 2017, she married an Indian National.

“The petitioner was born in Pakistan and at the time of her birth, the petitioner had acquired the citizenship of Pakistan. Therefore, the petitioner applied for being registered as an Indian citizen under section 5 of the Citizenship Act, 1955,” the plea said.

Advocate Vikas Mahajan, central government’s standing counsel, assured the high court that the petitioner’s application for citizenship by registration would be considered in accordance with law.

The high court noted the submission and said: “The respondents are directed to process the petitioner’s application in accordance with law. Considering that the petitioner has been residing in India since she was six months old, the visa granted to the petitioner for staying in India shall be extended till such time her application is finally decided”.

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