Gujarat HC Restrains Arrest of Russian Woman, Accused of Illegally Entering India

Gujarat HC Restrains Arrest of Russian Woman, Accused of Illegally Entering India

Gujarat High Court Justice Sonia Gokani on Friday, restrained the police officials from arresting a Russian woman, Anastasiia Leonskaia (38) and her 1.5-year old son, facing charges for illegally entering India through Nepal and for overstaying in India.

As per the facts, Anastasiia had first knocked the doors of justice on January 3, seeking for an exit clearance from the authorities so as to enable her to return to her native country.

She had claimed in her petition that she has been trying to get exit clearance since December last year, but the FRRO had failed to take any decision on her application.

To this, the authority submitted before the court that Anastasiia had entered India from Nepal on an expired visa and overstayed here and therefore, action would be taken against her.

Days later, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Ahmedabad, on January 22, lodged an FIR against her under various sections of the Foreigners Act.

Claiming to have lost her passport during her stay in India which forced her to overstay, Anastasiia moved another petition before Justice Sonia Gokani seeking quashing of the FIR and submitted, "The FRRO should look into the circumstances that forced the applicant to overstay in India and also the circumstances of robbery which left the applicant with no monetary help and assistance."

Accusing the FRRO of lacking human sentiment and showing their might against a helpless woman, Anastasiia's counsel, Nachiket Dave, submitted before the court that FRRO despite having the power to deport the lady to Russia at her own expense, had instead opted to lodge an FIR against her.

He further contended before the court that the FIR should be quashed as the trial would further extend her stay in India.

Taking cognizance of the matter, Justice directed the state crime branch to restrain from taking any coercive action against the mother-son duo and has also sought a reply from the Police and Immigration authority on Anastasiia's plea by January 29, the next date fixed for the hearing.

Foreigners Act
Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO)
Gujarat High Court
Quashing of FIR

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