The Rajasthan high court on Wednesday directed the state government to remove deficiencies in the applications for long-term visas (LTVs) of Pakistani refugees, who are eligible for Indian citizenship.
The HC division bench, comprising justice Sangeet Lodha and justice Vinit Kumar Mathur, has given the government time till January 15 to accomplish the task.
The order was conveyed to the government through the state’s additional advocate general KL Thakur. The court, hearing a PIL on behalf of the Pakistani refugees, asked the government to issue LTV to the refugees, who are eligible for citizenship.
Refugees who have lived in India on a 7-year LTV are eligible for the Indian citizenship.
Amicus curiae Kamal Joshi told the court that LTV is a necessary document for Indian citizenship.
According to the state government’s status report, currently 10,046 LTV applications of Pakistani refugees are pending, of which 2,716 are pending with the ministry of home affairs, 4,912 applications with the state government and 2,418 applications are pending with the foreigner registration offices.
Joshi said the HC had ordered the state government to grant the citizenship to Pakistani refugees belonging to minority category in Pakistan within 45 days, but in the absence of LTV, so far only nine people have got the citizenship.
The court ordered that the state government should organise camps to fulfil the deficiencies in LTV applications so that the problems of all applicants can be resolved in one place. The court also asked the organisations struggling for Pakistani refugees to cooperate.
The state government told the court that so far 2,644 Pakistani refugees have applied for citizenship in the state, out of which 2,288 applicants are living in Jodhpur district. There are currently 14,253 Pakistani refugees residing in Jodhpur district.