A French-origin restaurateur, who came to India eight years ago, got married to a woman here and is now facing marital problems, today challenged in the Delhi High Court a provision in the citizenship law under which he could lose his Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status if his wife divorces him.
A bench of Chief Justice Ravindra Menon and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and sought its response to the plea moved by the man who has alleged his wife is demanding a huge sum of money or a share in his business by threatening to divorce him.
The petitioner, Jerome Nicholas Georges Cousin, has alleged in his plea, filed through advocates Raghav Awasthi and Mukesh Sharma, that his wife was also threatening to lodge a complaint implicating him in a false rape case or any other offence if her demands were not met.
However, there have been many arguments between them in the past few months, and his wife started demanding a share in the restaurant business he runs here.
She also started demanding a huge sum of money and when he refused to meet either of her demands, she threatened to divorce him, the petition claimed.
It further said that he later came to know that under Section 7D(f) of the Citizenship Act of 1955, "any Overseas Citizen of India who divorces his/her spouse will lose their OCI status and will have to return to the country of origin".
In the present case, the petitioner will have to return to France if his wife divorces him and he cannot continue his business here.
In the circumstance, he decided to challenge section 7D(f) of the Act, the plea, which is listed for hearing on November 14, said.