In its bid to track down foreigners overstaying their visas in India and prevent them from engaging in illegal activities, the city police have laid out stricter guidelines for those providing them with accommodation.
Exercising his magisterial powers, police commissioner NS Megharikh passed an order to this effect, which was then moved to the state government on March 10 for approval, and is likely to get the nod within a week, according to one senior police officer.
The order directs building owners to collect visa and passport details of foreigners staying on their property and pass it on to the local police station within 15 days of them hosting a foreign national. If a landlord fails to do this, a case will be booked against them under Section 24 of the Foreigners Act, which carries a prison sentence of up to two years, apart from a monetary penalty.
The police move comes after the recent assault by locals on a Tanzanian girl near Hesaraghatta in north Bengaluru. Two police officers were suspended over the issue, but have obtained a stay.
Also, the High Court of Karnataka recently instructed the state police to take necessary action to curb the issue of foreign nationals overstaying their visas.
As per the order, the owner of a residential building, paying guest accommodation, service apartment, hotel/lodge and hostel attached to an educational institution, will have to take complete responsibility in making sure the foreign national vacates their property after the expiry of their visa.
“This will curtail overstay of foreign nationals. The owner of a dwelling should make the rental agreement only for the period of the visa. Once the agreement period is over, the building owner should ensure the place is vacated or a fresh agreement of extension be made if the visa is extended by the foreign national with the foreigner’s regional registration officer (FRRO),” the senior police officer said.
“The information available will be used by beat police to keep a watch on the movements of foreigners. The policemen will also ensure the foreign national has left the country after vacating the place on expiry of their valid stay. If they continue to stay in some other place, they can be tracked and deported. We are also planning to upload the system onto our website, so that owners can do the needful online,” the officer added.
The strict order
In the order, police commissioner NS Megharikh stated: “In order to help the police maintain law and order, all owners of dwellings that house foreign nationals should furnish particulars of their long-term visa and residence permits. This should be given to the jurisdiction police station within 15 days of rent period commencing.”
Credits Bangalore Mirror