Delhi HC issues Notice on French Scribe’s plea against Denial of OCI Activity Permission

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice on a plea file by French journalist Vanessa Dougnac against the Central government’s denial of permission to carry out journalistic activities in India.

Justice Subramonium Prasad has directed the Union government, including the Ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs, to respond to the petition within a week.

The matter has been listed for hearing on March 12, considering the urgency due to its implications on the rights of an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card holder.

The journalist is contesting an order issued by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) on September 14, 2022, rejecting her application for OCI activity permission to engage in journalistic activities in India.

Dougnac seeks a directive from the Union government to restore her OCI activity permission and review the decision in accordance with applicable laws and principles of natural justice.

She alleged that the order passed by the Centre was done summarily, without due consideration and in violation of procedural fairness.

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Furthermore, Dougnac received a show-cause notice on January 18, questioning the potential cancellation of her OCI under Section 7D(e) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Despite responding to the notice, she claims not to have received any further communication from the authorities.

The journalist, who has resided in India for over 25 years and is married to an Indian citizen with an OCI card, argues that the denial of permission curtails her freedom of speech, expression, and profession guaranteed under Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

She contended that the order undermines her dignity and excludes her from societal participation without proper justification. (IANS)

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