US woman blacklisted for visa violation

The Delhi High Court has upheld the Centre’s decision to blacklist an American woman entrepreneur, who was deported from India in January this year, saying she violated the conditions of the business visa issued to her.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru said Kasha Elizabeth Vande was carrying out various activities under the banner of her NGO, PondiART, at Puducherry, while her business visa only entitled her to visit India for commercial purposes.

“Thus, there can be little doubt that the petitioner [woman] had, in fact, violated the visa conditions by engaging in activities that did not strictly fall within the scope of the activities for which the visa had been granted,” he said. “In view of the above, this court finds no merit in the present petition and the same is, accordingly, dismissed,” Justice Bakhru said.

The Centre, defending its decision to deport and blacklist her, had contended that the action was taken as she had violated her visa conditions. It had also said that her activities had political overtones.

The 48-year-old US national was detained in January this year at the Chennai airport when she returned from the US and was later deported.

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