KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court on Wednesday ruled that Polish student Kamil Siedcynski could stay on in India, setting aside the expulsion order issued against him by the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) for allegedly participating in an anti-CAA rally on December 19.
“In a democratic country like India, the rights of any authority cannot be totally arbitrary and unrestricted. The fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution govern not only Indian citizens but foreigners as well, so long as they are on Indian soil,” Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya said.
Siedcynski, a student of comparative literature at Jadavpur University, had challenged the expulsion order on the ground that he was inadvertently caught in the anti-CAA protest while taking pictures of the gathering from a pavement.
Dismissing the “confidential report” submitted by the Union government on Siedcynski, Justice Bhattacharyya said the right to decide on issues pertaining to illegal immigrants or foreigners whose visas had expired couldn’t be used against someone to whom the authorities had not only issued a visa, but also renewed it subsequently.
“The visa confers valuable rights on the petitioner, not merely to stay in India but also associated rights …For a brilliant student of the academic standard of the petitioner, it is but natural that he shall have free interactions… at least while in India…,” the court said.