The Pakistani Muslim woman, who had been living in Rabupura village in Delhi’s neighboring District Gautam Budh Nagar of Uttar Pradesh since May 13, 2023, came to the notice of Indian agencies almost two months later when a lawyer from Bulandshahar informed the police about Seema Haider. On July 4, the police arrested the Pakistani Muslim woman with Sachin and his Father, but on July 7, Nazim Akbar Nemili, the Junior Division Judge of the Jewar Civil Court, released the Pakistani woman Seema, her alleged husband Sachin and Sachin’s father Netrapal on bail.
Marriage at Pashupati Nath Temple
It is said that the court released Seema-Sachin and Sachin’s father on bail because Seema had married with Sachin according to Hindu rituals. Since she had become a Hindu, she can apply for citizenship in India. However, while granting bail, the court has also added some minor conditions.
The question arises that how can the court so easily release an illegal migrant, that too a Pakistani woman, who has been arrested by the police for violating the Foreigners Act 1946 and for hatching a conspiracy?
Foreigners Act of India 1946
In response to this question, Supreme Court lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay says, ‘Superficially, the Foreigners Act of India 1946 does not allow any illegal infiltrator or illegal migrant to settle in India under any circumstances, but if we look inside it, This law is very flexible. For example, according to this law, if an illegal migrant-foreigner woman or man marries an Indian woman or man, he or she can apply for citizenship through registration. Ashwini Upadhyay also says that most of the laws of India are such those interpretation and meaning of justice or legal order can be derived or fabricated according to one’s own understanding. This has happened in the case of Seema as well.
Role of Police and Public Prosecutor
In this Seema-Sachin case, the role of the police and the public prosecutor has also been very poor. If Seema and Sachin gave an affidavit to the court arguing that they have been married as per Hindu rituals, then the prosecution should have urged the court that the accused should not be granted bail until the facts of the affidavit are verified by the police. If it had been so, the court would probably have ordered the police to investigate Seema and Sachin’s marriage, or the police could have challenged the order of the Civil Court Junior Division in a higher court.
Now from LIU to ATS and from IB to MIB, Sachin-Seema is being interrogated for hours and hours. Rabupura’s police is now putting applications at different places. Seeking permission to go to Nepal. So that they can bring evidence of Seema-Sachin Marriage which solemnized under Hindu customs and rituals.
Violation of India’s Security and Constitutional Provisions
Anyways, Let us now know what are the laws for Indian citizenship to foreigners and what the Indian Constitution says about it. Seema’s Entry into India is a clear violation of India’s security and constitutional provisions. The story of Seema also challenges the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Indian Passport Amendment Act. According to the Citizenship Act ‘Any Pakistani or foreign national who intrudes into India without valid visa and travel documents can be punished with imprisonment of 2 years to 8 years and fine of Rupees 10 thousand.’
Indian Passport Act
Clause ‘H’ of Rule 4 (Sub Rule 1) of the Indian Passport Act states that religious minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jain-Buddhists, Christians and Parsis, if they have come to India and seek citizenship here If so, they will be given Indian citizenship. It is worth noting here that there is no provision to give citizenship to the Muslims of Bangladesh and Pakistan.
In the Seema-Sachin case, it can be argued again that Seema converted to Hinduism by marrying Sachin under Hindu rituals at Pashupatinath Temple-Kathmandu. That’s why she was not a Pakistani Muslim but a Hindu at the time of her infiltration into India. So she should be given Indian citizenship.
Sharia Law & Seema
Sharia law states, ‘A Muslim woman, after marrying a polytheist or a person who does not believe in Islam, becomes an outcast from Islam. If she does so, it will make her an enemy of Islam. According to Sharia law, such a woman should be given death sentence by stoning.
In these dire circumstances, if Seema is sent to Pakistan, she will face more persecution for being a converted Hindu. Therefore, the Government of India and the Court should think sympathetically on the issue of Seema Haider. She should be allowed citizenship through registration under the Foreigners Act 1946.
Laws are Based on Principles not on Sentiment
Constitution experts say that laws are based on principles and not on sentiment. The Seema Ghulam Haider, a born Pakistani Muslim, has illegally exploited Article 7 of Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1951 also. According to the visa on arrival policy of Nepal, a citizen of any country can come to Nepal with a valid passport and can obtain a tourist visa for a maximum period of 150 days. But he or she are not allowed to sneak in to India by ditching security forces. Seema Haider did it exactly. She tricked Security guards at the border post by hiding her citizenship to sneak in to India.
Seema vs Iqra
Seema Ghulam Haider, is not the first example. Earlier on January 23, 2023, Iqra, a resident of Pakistani Hyderabad, was arrested by security agencies from Bangalore. Iqra had also crossed the Nepal border and reached Bangalore. She also fell in love with Prayagraj (UP) resident Mulayam Singh Yadav through an online game. Iqra was deported to Pakistan on 19 February 2023 itself.
Adnan Sami vs Seema
Some people may also raise the question that when Adnan Sami a Pakistani Singer and son of Pakistani Pilot Arshad Sami, who fought against India in 1965, was given Indian citizenship then why not Seema Ghulam Haider. The answer is, ‘Adnan Sami came to India for the first time on 13 March 2001 on a visitor’s visa. The duration of his visa kept increasing. His passport expired on 26 May 2015. The Government of Pakistan did not renew his visa. After this Adnan Sami applied for asylum to the Government of India. Looking at his circumstances, the Government of India granted Indian citizenship to Adnan Sami according to the provisions of the law. Sami and Seema Haider have nothing in common except that she married Sachin as per Hindu rituals in Kathmandu.
While amending the Citizenship of India Act, the Government of India has said that any foreign national, whether Pakistani, if he has been living in India continuously for 11 years and fulfills the conditions of the third schedule of this law, he can become a citizen of India.
Seema in Love, Not Follow Law
Seema Haider may have fallen in love with an Indian but she does not fulfill the conditions of Indian citizenship law. According to Indian law, she should be kept in the Detention Center in Delhi instead of living in the residential house. She has become the ‘Hero’ of Indian Media. People from all over the country are coming to see her. News TV channels have had to wait for hours for her interview.
It can be understood, She is not a Muslim for now, But she is an illegal Pakistani immigrant. What so ever it is, security agencies, courts and administration should take this case with Accordance of Law, but not According to Love.