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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Karnataka HC orders US-born medico to pay NRI fees before she gets exit permit

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The Karnataka High Court has ruled that a US-born medical student who pursued studies under the government quota must pay MBBS fees equivalent to the NRI quota to obtain an exit permit. The court’s decision has sparked debate and discussion on the issue of fee regulations for foreign students.

The Karnataka high court has ordered the authorities to issue an exit permit to a 26-year-old US-born student for misrepresenting herself as an Indian to study MBBS under a government-quota seat only when she has paid the full course costs for a Non-Resident Indian(NRI) or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) category medical seat.

In his ruling, Judge M Naga prasanna stated that the petitioner “shamelessly resorted to deception and obtained her aims by unethical means, which is abhorrent”, adding that she is not even interested in pursuing a career in this country, despite having secured benefits by claiming to be an Indian.

The petitioner was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 5, 1997. Her parents are both Indian citizens. They reported her birth to the Indian embassy in the United States. She was later awarded a US passport.

On the strength of her passport (valid until September 12, 2004), she visited India on a tourist visa as a six-year-old on June 23, 2003 and enrolled in a primary school. After graduating PU, she took CET on March 30, 2015, claiming her nationality as Indian and achieving a 500-plus rating.

She was given a government quota seat at Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences. After finishing her MBBS, she filed for a new passport with the US Consulate General, which was approved.

On March 17, 2021, she was issued a one-year US passport. Using her new US passport, she applied to the Bureau of Immigration for a departure authorization. However, it was rejected.

The petitioner claimed that she was a minor when she arrived in India in 2003, and her mother was a single parent. She was ignorant of the implications of the country’s Citizenship Act or the intricacies of the passport.

But, the petitioner’s visa expired in 2003, and her passport expired a year later, according to H Shanthi Bhushan, India’s deputy solicitor general.

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