The Delhi High Court has said that Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) appear to enjoy the fundamental rights of equality before law and freedom of speech and expression in the same way as any other Indian citizen does.
The court’s observation came while asking the centre to place before it the material based on which an intelligence report had recommended cancellation of the OCI registration of a US-based Indian-origin doctor.
Dr Christo Thomas Philip had challenged the cancellation of his OCI registration for alleged missionary activities in Bihar.
“In terms of section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, all rights other than those specified in sub-section (2) of the said section are available to an OCI card holder. Although, Article 16 of the Constitution of India is specified in Section 7B (2) of the Act, Articles 14 and 19 are not included. Thus, prima facie, the rights under Article 14 (equality before law) and 19 (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution…