CHENNAI: The Madras High Court ordered the quashing of a case pending in a local court in Ponneri against an Indonesian sailor for entering Indian territory without permission to receive medical treatment, and ordered his deportation to his country native.
Mohammed Zaenal Arifin, an engineer on the South Korean ship MT Asian Grace, was detained by the Central Industrial Security Force at Kamarajar Port in Ennore on September 3, 2021, for disembarking and visiting a local hospital for treatment without the clearance from immigration officials.
Faced with a case under Sections 14 A(b) and 14 C of the Aliens (Amendment) Act, he has been languishing in the special camp for aliens at Tiruchy ever since. After hearing his petition for permission to return to his country, Judge AD Jagadish Chandira recently ordered his deportation. .
He also ordered the judicial magistrate to return the petitioner’s passport to the Minjur police inspector who, in turn, will hand it over to the petitioner. He ordered the defendants, including immigration department authorities, to take prompt action to deport the sailor.
According to the lawyer, Mohammed Zaenal Arifin, the ship’s engineer-2, had to jump off the ship after sustaining bodily injuries during an altercation with the engineer-1. He tried to obtain permission from the authorities to leave the port for treatment, but was unsuccessful. Therefore, he moved without permission and returned soon after treatment.
The judge said that technically it may appear that the applicant breached the Aliens Act 1946 and the Aliens Ordinance 1948, but on the facts of the case it was a life or of death for him and in such circumstances, without understanding the legal consequences, he went to a nearby hospital for treatment in the sincere desire to save his life.
Stating that the petitioner cannot be called a criminal, the judge said that continuing the prosecution would only amount to an abuse of process.