Mumbai: Taking serious note of an foreign national acquiring a PAN card by claiming being an Indian citizen and utilizing it to open up two savings accounts, the Bombay High Court has summoned three senior Central government officials show up before it on 8 January to exhibit what action ended up being taken in the situation.
“This petition shows shocking inaction by relevant departments in the Union of India…What is stated by this documents are that the first respondent, who’s going to be a foreign national, has got a Pan card status. Further they have opened accounts with two banks, namely, HSBC Bank and Bombay Mercantile Bank. He has also acquired properties in India,” noted a division bench within a recent order.
Sanjay Punmiya had filed a petition alleging that Faisal Essa Yosuf got a new PAN card in the name and savings accounts were opened by him.
The HC, on earlier occasions, had asked respondents to keep an inquiry on what the PAN card was issued and make a change but no steps were adopted, the bench noted and warned to issue contempt notices from the concerned officers if stern measures weren’t enforced.
The bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka, in the written order, directed a representative of Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Mumbai, a senior officer nominated by Joint Secretary (CPV), Ministry of External Affairs, along with a senior officer nominated by Chief Commissioner
of Income Tax, Mumbai, to keep present in court on 8 January using the relevant documents to demonstrate action taken, pursuant to your order passed from the High Court on earlier occasions.
The bench also ordered that your report a good inquiry made within the issue shall be also submitted prior to a next date of hearing.
During a previous hearing on 28 September, 2015, government’s senior counsel had described that visa was granted towards the first respondent which can be valid till 16 December, 2018.
“Various allegations are already levelled contrary to the first respondent. It is stated that they has got such a pan status claiming to become an Indian national…All this demands a very serious inquiry from the concerned department in the Union of India,” the HC noted to use order.
“The petitioner does his job by indicating the alleged illegality committed from the first respondent. He is not likely to know the details from the departments that happen to be obliged to look in the illegality,” the HC noted.
“It could be the responsibility from the law department from the Union of India to determine which departments look into the allegations produced by petitioner and initiate appropriate court action, when necessary,” a legal court observed.
The HC noted that under clause 3 of the order dated 28 September, 2015, it had asked the suitable department on the Indian passport status to initiate an inquiry and submit a study to it. However, no such report continues to be filed. Besides, the HC order dated 29 October, 2015, notes the Central
government has never taken any steps, said the bench.
The court also noted how the counsel appearing with the Union government had created a statement on 1 October that though she has addressed letters to numerous officers on the Central government, no response was received.
The HC had directed on 1 October how the concerned government departments shall hold an enquiry for ascertaining if the first respondent has committed illegalities as alleged.
“If such illegalities are only, no doubt that prompt action will have being taken through the Union of India. If a legal court finds which the Union of India has never taken any action, serious view will have being taken for the said default,” the HC had witnessed in the 1 October order.
During the hearing on 17 December, the us government counsel produced directions written from the Centre to your respondents to do something as per the quicker orders from the HC. “Inspite from the letter, none on the respondents had any instructions about the compliance,” the HC further noted.
“In look at clause 6 in the order dated 29 October, 2015, it is a fit case where contempt notices are required to get issued on the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, the Joint Secretary (CPV) and FRRO, Mumbai,” observed the bench.
“Senior counsel Beni Chatterjee, appearing to the Union of India, states he’s going to ensure that necessary action is going to be taken. Only in look at this assurance, we are really not issuing any notice of contempt to date,” the bench said.
However, the High Court asked the respondents to present about the next date of hearing on 8 January.