The Bombay High Court extended the stay on deportation of a Pakistani national to his country till July 5 to enable him file an appeal against conviction by a Mumbai court for staying illegally in India for many years without valid papers or a visa.
Justices S J Vajifdar and A K Menon said, Siraj Khan, in the meanwhile, can file an appeal in a sessions court against his conviction under the Foreigners Act and Passport Rules and also seek interim relief.
The judges also held that the order passed recently by a Maharashtra Government authority detaining him at R A Kidwai Marg police station shall continue till July 5.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Siraj’s wife Sajida who sought a stay on the deportation process and his release from detention as he was the only earning member of the family.
A vacation Judge had earlier restrained the Union Government temporarily from deporting Siraj Khan and granted a stay till today while posting the matter for hearing before a regular bench.
Siraj claims to have crossed the Indo-Pak border by mistake during his childhood and that he grew up here earning his livelihood as a waiter. The petition said Sajida, an Indian national, married Siraj in 2005.
Sajida moved the HC praying that her husband’s deportation be stayed till his application for Indian citizenship, pending with the central government, is decided.
Her lawyer Yousef Khan said Siraj, who has two sons and a daughter with Sajida, was willing to renounce his Pakistani citizenship.
The counsel submitted that Siraj had entered Indian territory along the Gujarat border when he was 11 years old and was put up in a children’s remand home after being caught travelling on a train without ticket. After his release, he landed up in Mumbai.
On January 4 this year, a magistrate’s court here had convicted Siraj under the Passport (Entry into India) Rules and the Foreigners Act. He served a sentence in jail until June 3. Immediately thereafter, he was detained by Mumbai Police under the provisions of Foreigners Order.
Sajida has pleaded that Siraj be released from jail forthwith so that he can take up a job and earn livelihood for his family.