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Indian Society

The government on Wednesday argued in the Supreme Court that entry into and remaining in a sovereign country contrary to its visa conditions and domestic protocol cannot be sought as a fundamental right.

The Centre was replying to a challenge to its decision to blacklist foreign nationals who had allegedly violated government protocol by participating in the Tablighi Jamaat programme during the pandemic.

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a Bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that the right to enter a sovereign country, contrary to the law of that nation, can never be traceable to Article 21 of the Constitution.

Arguing that the petitions in the top court were “not maintainable” per se, Mr. Mehta suggested that the petitioners could instead make a representation to the authority for revocation of the blacklisting.

“Right to remain in India contrary to the prohibition of the government can never be traceable to right to life and personal liberty. Their personal liberty is not curtailed by blacklisting,” the law officer argued.

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