Question: Whether a foreigner is entitled to file a Writ Petition in India? Briefly comment.


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A writ petition can be filed in India in the Supreme Court (under Article 32 for enforcement of fundamental rights) or in a high court (under Article 226 for enforcement of fundamental rights or any other purpose.


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There are basically two categories of fundamental rights; certain fundamental rights are guaranteed only to the citizens, for example: rights mentioned under articles 15, 16, 19(a-g), 29 and 30 of Indian Constitution. On the other hand, certain other fundamental rights are guaranteed to all persons, irrespective of whether they are citizens or foreigners, for example: right to equality; Article 14, Protection in respect of conviction for offences; article 20, Protection of life and personal liberty; article 21, Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases; article 22, Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour; article 23 and freedom to practice, profess and propagate one’s religion; article 25-28.

Therefore, it becomes crystal clear that where a fundamental right is guaranteed even to a foreigner, such foreigner would be in a position to file a writ petition either in high court or the Supreme Court for enforcement of his fundamental right. In addition, if a foreigner has been granted any other type of right either under the Constitution of India or under any other law / statute, then he may file a writ petition in the high court for enforcement of such right in appropriate cases.



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