The Bombay High Court on Monday expressed concern over the treatment of a Russian woman
ordered to leave the country by the government after divorcing her ex-husband, ruling that the
nursing mother was not responsible for the nationality of her young child (infant daughter from
the marriage with the Indian man) and could be separated.

The woman was married to an Indian national and held an X1 visa (visa for long term more than
180 days) with Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status. The couple separated and the plaintiff had
consented to divorce proceedings. She had her son in marriage even before arriving in India.
She has since married another Indian and now has a six-month-old daughter.

The woman presented her OCI card and applied for an X visa. In response, she received a
departure notice from the Ministry from Interior from the local police, asking her to leave the
country by March24, as she lost her OCI status due to her previous marriage after her divorce.
The woman applied for an OCI card in March 2023 and applied to the High Court for an
injunction to stop her dismissal.

A panel of Justices Gautham S. Patel and Neela K. Gokhale heard the petition of a 38-year-old
Russian woman who was married to an Indian man, and made an important decision under
Section7A (3) of the Citizenship Act. Raised an issue the woman, her husband, her young
daughter and a minor son have filed a lawsuit against an exit permit issued by the police on
orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“Just be right, sensible, and have a humane approach to the woman and her child. Don’t let
nationalities come in the way of this. We won’t allow separation even for a minute. If this is
not a special circumstance for the mother, then there is nothing,” Justice Patel said.
On Monday, advocate Rui Rodrigues, filed an affidavit saying the disputed order met the legal
requirements. The center said there was not enough evidence to prove the special
circumstances under which woman apply for citizenship.

The court quipped that there are special circumstances in this case that cannot be ignored. She
also pointed out that in this case, her departure could affect her Indian husband and children.

Central government counsel asked for time to file additional affidavits to put their views on
record. But the court asked him to find a solution to the problem.

Bench urged Rodriguez to find a solution, adding that the case had special circumstances. They
expressed their disapproval of the government’s actions, saying that the idea that all citizens

are suspects is unacceptable. The court also noted that the petition raises questions about the
rights of a foreign OCI spouse to apply for a category visa.

The court continued the injunction previously granted to plaintiffs and required additional
affidavits from the Center. The matter was scheduled to be heard further on August 21.

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