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Delhi High Court: There Is No Law That Stops Practicing One's Faith

Monday, January 14, 2019, 13:50 (IST)

Delhi High Court on Jan. 8 reinstated Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card of an American doctor who was practicing medicine at a mission hospital in Bihar, adding that there is no law in India that stops practicing one's faith.

The court overturned an order passed by the Appellate Authority of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Foreigners Division by ruling in favor of an OCI, Dr. Christo Philip.

The MHA had cancelled and deported Philip's OCI on the false allegation that he was involved in missionary activity.

However, the court held that ministry had acted without any complaints of law and order problems. The ministry also failed to establish how Philip's missionary activity was a violation of the OCI Card regulations.

Philip's OCI card was reinstated.

The court said, "India is a secular country. All persons in this country have a right to practice their faith in the manner they consider fit so long as it does not offend any other person. If Dr Christo's faith motivates him to volunteer for medical services at a hospital, he is free to do so. There is no such law that stops him from doing so."

The court reiterated by stating "certainly not of this land."

Tehmina Arora, Director of Alliance for Defending Freedom India said: "This is a landmark judgment protecting the rights of foreign nationals working in Christian organizations to freely live out their faith in India."

"It restricts the arbitrary action of the Ministry of Home Affairs targeting foreigners merely because they are Christians," Arora added.