Kolkata High Court
Kolkata High Court
Litigation News

Calcutta HC stays Central Government notice asking Polish student to leave India for participating in Anti-CAA protest

The Government has been restrained from acting on the notice until March 18, when the Court is expected to pass judgment on the student's plea challenging the "Leave India" notice.

Bar & Bench

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stayed the Central Government's notice directing a Polish student to leave India after he was seen as part of a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya has restrained the government from giving any effect to the notice until March 18, when the court will pass judgment on the student’s writ petition. The order states,

"Let the matter be enlisted on March 18, 2020 for passing judgment. The respondents are restrained by an order of injunction from giving any effect to the impugned notice dated February 14, 2020 till delivery of judgment in this writ petition."
Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya

The Court added, "It is made clear that this injunction order is being passed for the ends of justice. However, the matter have not been gone into at this stage while passing the said interim order."

Kamil Siedczynski, a master's student in Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University was served with a Leave India notice last month from the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Kolkata. The notice, dated February 14, had directed the student to leave the country within 14 days of its receipt.

The notice was reportedly received by the student on February 24. It informed the student that his visa stood cancelled for having participated in anti-government activities, in violation of visa rules.

Siedczynski subsequently moved a plea before the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, submitting that he had not intended to take part in the anti-CAA protest. He reportedly informed the Court that he had accompanied friends in December last year, while on an outing to certain places unwittingly, and out of curiosity.

His lawyer, Jayanta Mitra further told the Court that he witnessed peaceful protests. He was later separated from the group and continued to stand on the sidelines as an onlooker, it was reportedly submitted.

The Government was argued to have misinterpreted the episode after a photograph of Siedczynski was published in news related to Anti-CAA protests, whereby certain quotes were mis-attributed to him.

It was further contended that the Notice issued asking him to leave was issued without affording him an opportunity to present his case. The student is also reported to have expressed "remorse" for his "mistake."

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