The Centre told the Delhi High Court on Monday that once a 'leave India notice' had been issued against a foreigner, the person should leave the country irrespective of having a valid visa to stay.
The submission by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani came at a hearing of a plea by the husband of a Pakistani woman who has been asked by the government to leave the country in view of adverse security reports against her.
The 37-year-old woman had come to India in 2005 after marrying the man. She has been residing in Delhi with her husband and two sons, aged 11 and five.
The lawyers for the woman's husband argued that she should not be deported as her application for Indian citizenship was pending before the authorities.
Appearing for the MHA, the Centre's standing counsel, Anurag Ahluwalia, told the bench that the woman has to leave the country as there is a 'leave India notice' against her. He contented that she must leave and could return if her application is accepted.
The high court reserved its judgement after hearing both sides and extended its interim order of no coercive action against the woman till then.
According to the woman's husband, she has a long-term visa that is valid till 2020. He had initially challenged before a single judge the government's February 7 direction to her to leave the country within 15 days.
The single judge had dismissed the plea and gave the woman two weeks to leave the country, saying that under the principles of law she has no right to stay here. Her husband had appealed against the order and the division bench had in March directed the government to not take any coercive steps against the woman.