Odisha-Born Academician Ashok Swain’s OCI Cancelled For Anti-India Activities, Centre Tells HC
New Delhi: The Centre has told the Delhi High Court that it cancelled Odisha-born Sweden-based academician Ashok Swain’s Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration as he was found indulging in “illegal activities inimical” to the interests of the sovereignty, integrity, and security of India.
“He persistently and wilfully indulged in writings and inflammatory speeches that tarnished the image of the country and its institutions in the eyes of the international community, undermining the nation and hurting the country’s interests.”
The Centre further said that the details of the inputs from the security agencies could not be revealed as they were classified as “Secret” but added that it can be placed before the bench in a sealed cover if the court wishes.
The response from the central government came after Swain challenged the July 30 order of the Indian Embassy to Sweden and Latvia cancelling his OCI card, in the high court.
It was for the second time that Swain approached the HC contesting the revocation of his OCI card, arguing that he cannot be witch-hunted for his views on the present government and its policies. His counsel also submitted that Swain’s 78-year-old mother, who lives in India, is unwell and he is the only son and has not been able to visit India in the past three years.
“Although, it is the alleged case of the respondent (Centre) that the petitioner (Swain) was blacklisted for anti-India activities for allegedly spreading detrimental propaganda through his writings and speeches in various public forums; the impugned order is bereft of any particular incidence/ tweet/ writing or reason which remotely demonstrates the contention of the respondent no.3 (Embassy of India to Sweden and Latvia) that the petitioner is allegedly carrying out detrimental propaganda on public forums,” the plea, filed through advocates Aadil Singh Boparai, Srishti Khanna and Sadiq Noor, said.
On July 10, 2023, the Delhi high court had set aside the first cancellation of his OCI by the government in February last year. “Apart from repeating the Section (under which the OCI card was cancelled) as a mantra, no reason is mentioned … as to why the registration of the petitioner as OCI holder has been revoked,” Justice Subramonium Prasad had then said.
Swain had completed his Bachelor of Arts from the erstwhile Ravenshaw College in Cuttack. He the did his Master of Arts from the University of Delhi and PhD from the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India with the thesis titled Security of Small States in the International System.