Delhi High Court Refuses To Advance Hearing In Plea Against Blacklisting YouTuber Karl Rock From Entering India

By – Meghana Tailor

The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to advance the date of hearing in the plea moved by YouTube vlogger Manisha Malik, wife of New Zealand YouTuber Karl Edward Rice (popularly known as Karl Rock) seeking quashing of a blacklisting order issued against him which had prevented him from returning to India. Justice V Kameswar Rao, who was inclined to hear the legal issue involved in the matter, was of the view that the same can only be heard on the date already fixed and not before that.

 The Court also took note of the fact that the period of the ban imposed was to expire on February 23 and that a fresh call would be taken by the Centre pursuant to the same. The Court was dealing with an early hearing application moved in the petition by Advocate Fuzail Ayyubi appearing for the petitioner. The same was dismissed as withdrawn.

During the course of the hearing, Ayyubi submitted thus: “I am an Indian citizen. When an Indian citizen marries a foreigner, if his visa has to be canceled, if there is anything, notice should have been given to me. I have been deprived of the present company as well as the future company.”

On the other hand, Anurag Ahluwalia appearing for the Centre submitted that Rock’s visa was canceled for the reason that he attempted to visit secured and restricted places. He further submitted that activities such as journalist activities or business could not be done as a part of the visa conditions.” I don’t know where to accommodate you in February. We will have it on March 21,” the Court said.

through Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, the plea challenges the “arbitrary and unreasonable” blacklisting of Karl Edward Rice, husband of the Petitioner, who has not been able to return to India from New Zealand since 10.10.2020. Submitting that the denial of visa to Rice by the Respondents is unreasonable and arbitrary, the Petitioner states that by depriving her of living with her husband, her fundamental right to life and dignity under Article 21 has been violated.

The plea avers that Rice, who has dual nationality (New Zealand and the Netherlands) has been visiting India since 2013 and has strictly followed all the laws as well as the conditions of the visa. Furthermore, after marriage to the Petitioner, Rice was granted an X-2 Visa which is meant for the spouse/children of an Indian citizen and is set to expire on 05.05.2024.

In compliance with a condition for the X-2 Visa which compels the Petitioner’s spouse to exit India every 180 days or intimate the concerned Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO), Rice left India on 10.10.2020, and has not been able to return to India as his application for issuance of an Indian visa is being rejected the Respondents. “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 has been rejected, the Petitioner’s husband was only verbally informed that he has been blacklisted and therefore he is not permitted to entire into India”.