The Centre on Friday informed the Delhi High Court that Angad Singh, a US-based journalist with Vice News, has been blacklisted despite being an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holder.
On December 7, 2022, a bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh had directed the Central government to file a response in a suit filed by Singh against his deportation from Delhi to New York in August last year. He has also challenged the refusal to grant him a Special Permit.
Appearing for the Centre, advocate Anurag Ahluwalia told the court that as Singh has violated Section 11A of the Foreigners Order, 1948, which prohibits a foreigner from producing any picture, film or documentary without permission in writing from the Centre, he is a blacklisted subject.
He had allegedly depicted India in a negative manner in the “India Burning” documentary.
Singh has covered important issues in his documentaries, including the Shaheen Bagh protests, the farmers’ protests and the Covid-19 pandemic in India, among others.
Ahluwalia submitted that Singh was entering India on his journalist visa for a personal visit but he wasn’t issued a visa for that.
The FRRO, in an affidavit, told the court that Singh was blacklisted at the instance of the Consulate General of India in New York.
On January 7, Ahluwalia had said that the affidavit will explain why the petitioner was denied entry into the country.
Advocate Swathi Sukumar, representing Singh before the court said that Singh’s OCI card is still valid and has not yet been cancelled.
To this, Ahluwalia sought time to obtain instructions and file a response on whether any show cause notice or proceedings were started against Singh for the cancellation of his OCI card.
The court then granted two weeks’ time to Ahluwalia to file the affidavit.
In his plea, Singh has mentioned that his fundamental right under the Citizenship Act, 1955, is being violated by not letting him into India.
He has also asked the court to restrain the government from violating his rights.
Earlier, Singh’s counsel had sought a declaration that his deportation from the government was illegal and disclosure of all the materials and data available with the government related to him.
His mother, through a Facebook post, had claimed that he had come to India to meet his family in Punjab and it was because of his journalism that he was deported.