YouTuber Karl Edward Rice, also known as Karl Rock, has alleged that his visa was cancelled after he left India in October 2020 and the government has barred him from entering the country. The New Zealand national is married to an Indian, Manisha Malik, and has been blacklisted by the Centre as he has allegedly violated the terms of his visa.
The YouTuber got married in 2019 and often shares tips for foreigners travelling to India.
Highlighting his struggle to visit his wife, Karl Rock addressed a tweet to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern. In his tweet, the vlogger also claimed that the government banned him without giving a reason after he left India. Since then, he has been separated from his wife and family who are in the National Capital.
Dear @jacindaardern, the Govt. of India has blocked me from entering India separating me from my wife & family in Delhi. They blacklisted me without telling me, giving reasons, or letting me reply. Please watch my struggle https://t.co/dq0Z98SCFw @NZinIndia @MukteshPardeshi pic.twitter.com/sLM2nk9lR3
— Karl Rock (@iamkarlrock) July 9, 2021
In a video posted from his YouTube channel and shared on Twitter, Rock claimed that he had not seen his wife in 269 days. He also claimed that he wasn't given a reason for being added to the blacklist.
"I left India in October 2020 to travel to Dubai and Pakistan. When I left through the New Delhi International Airport, they cancelled my Visa. They would not tell me why they were cancelling my visa," he alleged. He was apparently informed by the Indian High Commission in Dubai that he had been blacklisted.
He alleged that his attempts to get answers and to get help from the Indian High Commissioner in Wellington and the home ministry were ignored.
Rock said he had donated plasma twice to the Delhi plasma bank and had been appreciated by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for the plasma donation.
Rock also put up the link to a petition on Twitter and tagged diplomats, journalists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kejriwal.
— Karl Rock (@iamkarlrock) July 9, 2021
Union home ministry officials had on Friday said the New Zealand national has been restricted from entering India till the next year for violating terms and conditions of his visa. He was found to be doing business activities on a tourist visa and also violating other visa conditions, they had said without specifying.
His wife, who lives in the Pitampura in the National Capital, has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the decision to blacklist him and deny visa to enter India.
The petitioner said by virtue of denying visa to her husband, who has been "arbitrarily blacklisted" by the respondents (Centre), she is deprived from living with him, thereby violating her fundamental right to life and dignity as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
It said the authorities have not communicated the grounds of blacklisting Rice even though several representations have been preferred by him and his wife, which has led to the separation of a married couple, lack of any opportunity or notice to them to indicate any violation of visa conditions and denial of issuance of visa to him.
Terming the Centre's move an arbitrary abuse of power, the plea said it violates the petitioner's rights under Article 19 (protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech) of the Constitution.
Subsequent to their marriage, Rice was granted an X-2 Visa (meant for spouse/children of an Indian citizen) which had a validity period of May 2019 to May 2024 and one of the conditions in the visa for him was to exit India every 180 days or to intimate the Foreigner Regional Registration Office concerned.
"Complying with the aforesaid condition of exiting the nation, while Rice left India on 10 October, 2020, he has not been able to return to India because any application for issuance of an Indian visa is being rejected by the respondents," the petition states.
The petition has arrayed Centre, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, FRRO and Bureau of Immigration as parties.
The plea sought direction to the authorities to call for records pertaining to cancellation of visa and unilateral blacklisting of Rice and also sought to review or quash the decision blacklisting him and allow him entry to India. As an alternative, the plea sought to direct the authorities to grant a meaningful hearing to the couple on the sudden blacklisting of Rice.
The plea is likely to come up for hearing next week.
With inputs from PTI