HC refuses to advance hearing date of plea against blacklisting YouTube vlogger

The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to advance the date of hearing of petition concerning the blacklisting of YouTube vlogger Karl Edward Rice popularly known as Karl Rock, saying that the term of the ban ends on February 23 and the Centre would then take a fresh call.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 17-01-2022 18:18 IST | Created: 17-01-2022 18:01 IST
HC refuses to advance hearing date of plea against blacklisting YouTube vlogger
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The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to advance the date of hearing of petition concerning the blacklisting of YouTube vlogger Karl Edward Rice — popularly known as Karl Rock, saying that the term of the ban ends on February 23 and the Centre would then "take a fresh call". Justice V Kameswar Rao stated that he would hear the legal issues raised in the petition by YouTuber's wife but the plea cannot be heard before the date is already fixed. "They will take a fresh call after February 23. We will consider that point and the date is in March," the judge said. "I don't know where to accommodate you in February. We will have it on March 21. We will look into it (then). They have given date (for the expiry of the blacklisting order). They (Centre) will take a call," he added. Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, representing the petitioner, withdrew the early hearing application in view of the court's stand.

He contended that the blacklisting of the petitioner's husband was without any notice and canceled a "bundle of her rights". Central government counsel Anurag Ahluwalia said that the visa of the petitioner's husband was canceled and the blacklisting order was issued as he attempted to visit "restricted areas", conduct business activities, and carry out "journalist activities" in violation of his visa conditions.

The petitioner, Manisha Malik, has challenged the central government's decision to deny an entry visa to her husband on the ground of it being ''arbitrary and unreasonable''. The petitioner counsel had argued that his client or her husband received no word from the government on the denial of visa and while exiting India in October 2020, the visa was simply stamped "canceled without prejudice". In her petition, Malik has submitted that her husband has dual nationality of New Zealand and the Netherlands and visited most of India to capture its beauty and contribute to the promotion of tourism here. The plea has said that the Centre's action violates the rights under the Constitution, including Article 21.

The plea has said since their marriage in 2019, the couple has been living in Delhi and Rice has not been able to return to India from New Zealand since October 2020. ''During the entire period since 2013, while the petitioner's husband has been granted Indian visa on various occasions, there hasn't been even a single allegation against the petitioner's husband,'' the plea has said.

It informed that subsequent to their marriage, Rice was granted an X-2 Visa (meant for spouse/children of an Indian citizen) which had a validity period of May 2019 to May 2024 and one of the conditions in the visa for him was to exit India every 180 days or to intimate the Foreigner Regional Registration Office concerned.

''While the petitioner has been running from pillar to post and no reasons are communicated to either 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 petition has said, adding that Rice was only verbally informed that he has been blacklisted and therefore he is not permitted to enter into India.

The plea has sought direction to the authorities to call for records about the cancellation of visa and unilateral blacklisting of Rice and also sought to review or quash the decision blacklisting him and allow him entry to India.

The court had issued notice to the Centre on the petition in July last year.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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