Deported US woman had political overtones: Centre to Delhi HC

The court, however, refrained from passing any interim directions

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), June 1:-The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it had deported an American woman entrepreneur and later blacklisted her as some of her activities had political overtones and she had made false assertions in her application for a business visa.

The government told Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who is hearing the matter, that the woman was carrying out charity work and NGO activities for which there was a different visa and she could not carry out those under a business visa.

It also told the court that some activities of the 48-year-old US national, Kasha Elizabeth Vande, had poltical overtones, like when she organised an art exhibition against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

A plea was moved challenging her detention at the Chennai airport when she had returned from the US. She was deported on January 5, even before the matter had reached the court.

The government said while an Indian citizen can carry out such an activity, a foreigner visiting the country that too on a business visa, cannot.

However, Kasha’s lawyer, Shoumendu Mukherjee, said the art exhibition was only organised by her way back in 2013, despite which the government had renewed her business visa in 2017 for another 10 years.

He sought interim orders allowing his client to return to India as she was the organiser of a popular photo exhibition ‘PondyPHOTO’, scheduled to be held this year in Puducherry. He said the event has been postponed thrice already as she could not be there.

The photo exhibition was popular around the world, attracting various artists, sponsors as well as partnership by the Puducherry government, which would positively impact tourism and economy of the union territory, the lawyer told the court.

The court, however, refrained from passing any interim directions, saying the matter required longer hearing and saying “let’s not rush into it”.

In her petition, Vande has challenged her deportation to the US and denial of entry in to India despite having a valid business visa.

According to the woman’s plea, she was denied entry into India despite having a valid business visa. She has also claimed that she had been residing in India for 10 years before her deportation in January this year.

She had also said she was running an organisation which promoted tourism in Puducherry with the support and permission of the government there. According to her plea, she was running a cafe and a boutique named ‘Kasha ki Asha’ in Puducherry.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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