(1) The Petitioner, Mir Abdul Qadir, has filed this petition under Section 491(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking a direction from this Court in the nature of habeas corpus that the respondents 1 and 2, who are respectively the State of Andhra Pradesh represented by its Secretary, Home Department, and the Commissioner of Police (Registration Officer), Hyderabad, should produce the petitioner before the Court, coupled with a prayer that he be released from, what the petitioner alleges to be, unlawful custody.
(2) The main allegations in the petition are that about four years ago the petitioner had filed Writ Petition No. 601 of 1961 before this Court for a writ of mandamus restraining the State of Andhra Pradesh and the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, from deporting him under the Foreigners Act 1946. In that writ petition the Petitioner's case was that he was born in Hyderabad on 29-5-1934, that he had left for Pakistan on 23-3-1952, when he was 17 1/2 years old; that he had come over to India in May 1960 on the strength of a Pakistani Passport No. 179396 dated 22-3-1954 bearing category `C' Visa No. 30894 dated 17-3-1960 valid upto 6-8-1960; that he had applied for extension of stay in Hyderbad on the ground that his mother was ill; that such extension was granted on three occassions upto 25-3-1961; that when the petitioner applied again for a further extension, that was refused and a notice was served upon him to leave India before 25-3-61 failing which action would be taken against him under the Foreigners Act. The petitioner challenged the contemplated action of the Government of Andhra Pradesh on the ground that as he was born in India before the commencement of the Constitution and since he had left India after the commencement of the Constitution, he had not loss his citizenship by virtue of Art. 7 of the Constitution, and consequently the State Government had no right to treat him as a foreigner and order him to leave the country.
'If any question arises as to whether, when or how any person has acquired the citizenship of another country, it shall be determined by such authority, in such manner, and having regard to such rules of evidence, as may be prescribed in this behalf:
and inasmuch as there has been no such determination by the Central Government with regard to the petitioner's citizenships the writ petition had to be allowed and the petitioner ordered to be released from custody. The learned judge, however, made this significant observation towards the end of this judgment: 'It is stated by the petitioner that the petitioner has applied to the Central Government for determining his citizenship rights. If the decision of the central Government goes against the petitioner, it may be competent to the respondents to take appropriate action against the petitioner.'
(3) Now, the present case of the petitioner is that he had received a notice dated 3-1-1965 from the Central Government directing him to send his representation bearing upon the question whether or not he had voluntarily acquired the citizenship of Pakistan, and intimating to him that upon the receipt of such representation, the Central Government would determine the question. Pursuant to that notice the Petitioner sent his representation dated 26-3-1965 setting out his case and claiming that he had not voluntarily acquired the citizenship of Pakistan, notwithstanding that he had come over to India on a Pakistani passport.
(4) The petitioner's further case is that he had received any orders upto the date of the filing of this petition, which was done on 26-8-1965, but yet the police authorities had been coming to his house and threatening to deport him from Hyderabad, and that on the morning of 26-8-1965, the police had taken him into their custody. Thereupon he filed this application under Section 491, Cr. P. C. seeking a direction in the nature of habeas corpus.
(5) We admitted the petition and ordered notice to the respondents and at the same time issued interim orders directing the respondents to stay their hands and not to deport the petitioner until the petition was decided by us. On behalf of the 1st respondent i.e. the State of Andhra Pradesh, a Counter-affidavit has been sworn to by the Assistant Secretary in the Home Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh. After setting, out what had happened in the previous Writ Petition No. 601 of 1961, the counter-affidavit goes on to say that in pursuance of the orders of this Court in that writ petition, steps were taken by the government of India to decide under section 9(2) of the Citizenship Act 1955, whether the petitioner has acquired the citizenship of another country or not. The petitioner also had put in a petition dated 22-7-1963 requesting the Government of India to decide about his nationality. The Government of India issues a notice No. 13/415/63-IC (Ministry of Home Affairs) dated 3-1-1965 asking the petitioner to submit his representation along with any material he wished to rely upon in support of his contention that he had not voluntarily acquired the citizenship of Pakistan. The petitioner submitted his representation dated 26-3-1965 in response to the above notice to the Government of India. Thereafter the Central Government, after careful consideration of the representation made by the petitioner and with due regard to the rules of evidence contained in Schedule III of the Citizenship Rules of 1956, passed an Order No. 13/415/63-IC (Ministry of Home Affairs) dated 23-6-1965 deciding that the petitioner had voluntarily acquired the citizenship of Pakistan after 26-1-1950 and before 22-3-1954. It is necessary to reproduce the order in full: