Delhi HC Issues Notice to Centre Over Blacklisting YouTuber Karl Rock
Malik said that she and her husband are YouTube vloggers who have contributed to the promotion of tourism in India.
The Delhi High Court on Friday, 16 July, issued notice to the Centre and Foreigner Regional Registration Office, Delhi, in the petition filed by YouTuber Karl Rock’s wife Manisha Malik against blacklisting and cancellation of his visa.
Malik married Rock in April 2019 and had approached the Delhi High Court challenging the Centre's alleged "arbitrary and unreasonable" decision.
She has argued in the plea, “The petitioner, by virtue of denial of a visa to her husband, who has been arbitrarily blacklisted by the Respondents, is deprived of living with her husband, thereby violating her fundamental right to life and dignity as guaranteed under Article 21,” The Indian Express reported.
In the petition filed through Malik’s advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, she said that she and her husband are YouTube vloggers who have contributed to the promotion of tourism in India, by having visited most parts of the country "to capture its beauty".
Rock makes videos on travelling in India, interesting destinations, how to avoid scams, etc and has around 1.8 million YouTube subscribers.
He has been visiting India since 2013 and has dual nationality of New Zealand and Netherlands, the petition added.
After his marriage with Malik, Rock was granted an X-2 Visa (meant for spouses/children of an Indian citizen) after his marriage, which was valid up to May 2024.
One of the visa conditions for him was to exit India every 180 days or to intimate the Foreigner Regional Registration Office concerned. To comply with this rule, Rock had left for Dubai last year.
Malik said in the petition, “While the petitioner has been running from pillar to post and no reasons are communicated to either Mr Karl Edward Rice or to the petitioner herself as to on what basis her husband’s request for issuance of visa have been rejected, the petitioner’s husband was only verbally informed that he has been blacklisted and therefore he is not permitted to enter into India (sic)," news agency ANI reported.
Telling the Centre that there has to be justifiable reasons for the blacklisting, Justice Rekha Palli on Friday also said that Rock or his wife have to be informed of the reasons.
Blacklisted as He Was Conducting Business in India: Authorities
The respondents have been granted with three weeks’ time to file a counter-affidavit by the court, while the case was listed for hearing on 23 September.
Meanwhile, advocate Anurag Ahluwalia, who is representing Indian authorities, claimed that Rock has been blacklisted as he was conducting business in India, despite being on a spouse visa.
The court told Ayyubi, when she sought a short date for the next hearing in the case, “It is all right. You have been out in October. In COVID, people are not seeing their family for more than one year… so it is all right. Have a little patience. If you are in the right, you will succeed,” The Indian Express reported.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and ANI)
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