Delhi HC directs MEA, Bureau of Immigration to consider US citizen's plea claiming wrongful deportation

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of External Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration consider a petition filed by an American citizen claiming that she has been wrongly deported. A bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh, while passing the directions on Monday, said that it is deemed appropriate to direct that the Ministry of External Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration consider the present petition and the prayer therein as her representation for reinstatement of the visa granted to the petitioner. Kimber Stepp, an American national, had approached the High Court challenging her deportation from the Calcutta Airport on March 6, 2020, claiming she had a valid multiple-entry tourist visa to enter and leave India which was valid till 2026. The same was issued to her by the Indian Embassy in the USA, the plea said. It is her case that she has been travelling to India regularly since 2014, however, when she applied for a business visa she was denied the same. Despite the denial of a business visa, she submits that the multiple-entry tourist visa continued to remain valid and accordingly, she continued to come to India, the plea said. It said that the petitioner reached the Calcutta Airport on March 6, 2020, from where she was deported and adds that she has flown to Dubai where she is currently staying. The plea challenged her deportation and sought directions to reinstate her visa and allowing her to travel to India. Advocate Kuriakose Varghese, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that there were no reasons given to the petitioner as to why she was deported. Advocate Amit Mahajan, standing counsel for the Centre government, submitted that the plea is not maintainable. However, Mahajan said that since the prayer is limited to the reinstatement of the visa, which was given to the petitioner, it can be considered as a representation on which the government will make a decision. After the conclusion of the submissions, Justice Pratibha M Singh disposed of the plea and said that the representation would be decided within a period of six weeks and the respondents shall pass an order giving reasons. (ANI)