Why did Justice Katju grant stay of deportation of Pakistanis?

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Why I granted stay of deportation of Pakistanis

Why did Justice Katju grant stay of deportation of Pakistanis?
Why did Justice Katju grant stay of deportation of Pakistanis?

By Justice Markandey Katju

When I was a Judge of Allahabad High Court (1991-2004) a large number of writ petitions were filed before me from time to time by old Pakistani citizens who had come to India on a visa of one month or so and did not want to go back. So deportation orders were issued by the Indian government to deport them to Pakistan, which they challenged before me.

In every such case I would pass a stay order staying their deportation 'till further orders'. Since there were then over a million (ten lac) cases pending in the Allahabad High Court (that figure must have gone up considerably by now), a case which had been heard once would usually be listed again after several years.

So the result of my stay orders was that in effect by a judicial order I converted a one-month visa into possibly a 5 year one or so (because the case would come up again after 5 years or so, and till then the stay order would continue).

Why did I do this? I can reveal the secret now.

I did it because, as I have said repeatedly that I regard India and Pakistan (and Bangladesh) as really one country, only temporarily separated by that British swindle called Partition, on the basis of the bogus two nation theory, but which are sure to reunite again one day ( see my articles below) :

I do not recognize Pakistan. I believe that Pakistan is a fake, artificial entity (I refuse to call it a country) which was created as an Islamic State by the British rascals to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, and thereby keep India, of which Pakistan (and Bangladesh) are really parts, weak and backward.

I refuse to be a party to this historical fraud and swindle and I have never recognized, and will never recognize, Pakistan as a country. It is part of India, and is bound to be one day reunited with India under a strong, secular, modern minded government, which will not tolerate religious bigotry or extremism of any kind, whether Hindu or Muslim, and crush it with an iron hand.

So I regarded these petitioners before me as Indians. When they had been young men at the time of Partition or so they had been carried away by religious passions or fear, and for that reason had migrated to Pakistan.

But now they had become old people and were nostalgic and wanted to return to their native homes where they had spent their youth, and where many of their relatives and friends still lived.

Most of these Pakistanis who came on one-month visas to India were old people in their 70s or 80s. They were Mohajirs—persons who had migrated in their youth from India in 1947 or so in their emotional zeal to become part of an 'Islamic republic' or out of fear of being persecuted in India on account of their religion.

But many of these Mohajirs had left behind relatives, and, in the evening of their lives, wanted to return to the land of their birth and live with their brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces and old friends.

Their plight has been described in vivid detail by the great Indian Urdu poet Munawwar Rana in his book Mohajirnama, with lines such as

''Mohajir hain, magar hum ek duniya chhod aaye hain''.

In poignant verses, which bring tears to one's eyes, Munawwar Rana writes-

''Bhateeji ab saleeke se dupatta odhti hogi

Wahi jisko jhoole mein humakta chhod aaye hain''


''Moharram mein hamaara Lucknow Iran lagta tha

Madad Maula Husainabad rota chhod aaye hain''

and again

''Gale milti huin nadiyaan, gale milte hue mausam

Allahabad ka kaisa nazaara chhod aaye hain

Kal ek amrood waale se kehna pad gaya mujhko

Jahaan se aaye hain is phal ki bagiya chhod aayen hain

Woh hairat se hamein takto raha kuch der, phir bola

Woh sangam ka ilaaqa chhoota, ya chhod aaye hain ?

Abhi hum sonch mein ghum the ki usse kya kha jaaye

Hamaare aansuon se raaz khola chhod aaye hain''.

Many of these Mohajirs have their ancestors' graves in India, and would have liked to have their own graves too near their ancestors. They wanted to spend the rest of their lives in the land of their youth, where many relatives and friends were still living. So, naturally, they wanted to stay on.

Unfortunately, on migrating to Pakistan they lost their Indian nationality, and became Pakistani citizens. The Indian Government has always been very reluctant to grant visas to Pakistanis, and even where it is granted after great difficulty, it is usually only for a short period of one month or so. Several conditions are also put on it, e.g. that the visa is only granted for living within one city, and there also one has to report to the nearest police station every week or so.

These old men ( and women ) had come on this short visa, and were reunited with their relatives and old friends, and wanted to spend the last days of their lives here. They realized the folly of their youth, but it was too late now, what could they do ? Luckily for them, their cases came before me.

As I said above, I do not recognize Pakistan, and I regard 'Pakistanis' as Indians (whatever 'Pakistanis' may think of themselves). So I regarded these petitioners as Indians. And how can an Indian be deported from India?

I did not say so in my orders, but that was the real reason for staying their deportation..

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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