Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Central government informs Delhi High Court how documentary ‘India Burning’ by News journalist Angad Singh portrays India in poor light

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Delhi High Court has been informed by the Central Government that the Vice News journalist Angad Singh has been deported from India and blacklisted due to the documentary he made titled ‘India Burning’ which presented a very negative view of India’s secular credentials.

The affidavit which was filed by the Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) stated that the journalist had misrepresented facts in his visa application form in 2020, and filed for obtaining a Journalist Visa. After coming he involved into anti national propaganda to defame the country.

The affidavit adds that Angad Singh has been blacklisted under Grade A at the behest of the Consulate General of India at New York.

Angad Singh who is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker is a US citizen and also carries an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. He was deported to New York in August 2022.

While going through a Facebook post, the mother of the alleged troublemaker said that he had come to India for meeting his family residing in Punjab, and that the reason for his deportation was his journalism.

The matter came up on Friday before Justice Prathiba M Singh.

Advocate Swathi Sukumar who represented Angad Singh claimed that her client being an OCI cardholder, enjoys all rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India, except for certain rights as specified in Section 7B(2) of the Citizenship Act.

It was submitted that even the government is not saying that Singh’s OCI card has been cancelled.

The Counsel for Singh submitted that as per Section 7D of the Act, OCI cards cannot be cancelled without giving the cardholder a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

Counsel added that the journalist has been blacklisted but no official communication has been served to him as of now.

The counsel for Central Government Standing Counsel (CGSC) Anurag Ahluwalia said that under the Foreigners Act ,1947 and the Foreigners Order, 1948, no foreigner can produce a film or public exhibition without permission from the Central government. He stated that Singh was blacklisted for violating this provision.

The Court asked Ahluwalia if he has received any show cause notice?

The lawyer said that he would seek instructions from the Union Ministry of External Affairs on this aspect.

The Court thereafter listed the case for further consideration on February 28.

Singh in his plea has asked the Court to restrain the government from denying him entry into India, as it violates his fundamental right under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

He has also sought a declaration that the government’s action to deport him was illegal, as well as disclosure of all the materials and data available with the government related to him.

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