5 December 2022


High Court of Delhi

Harbhajan Kaur v. Union Of India




Government of India cannot raise a dispute with a foreign government qua the private claim of its citizens

Instant Appeal is preferred against order of Single Judge dismissing writ petition by order holding that, merely because Government of India, on a representation being made, has forwarded claim of Petitioner to Embassy of India at China would not create an obligation on Government of India to take any further steps in the matter. Issue was relating to money deposited by late husband of Petitioner in his accounts with General Post Office, Shanghai, China. On a representation being made to Chinese authorities, Petitioner was informed, that claim for monies deposited in said accounts stands abandoned as per policies of their government.

Husband of Petitioner served in Indian National Army and deposited his savings in accounts with General Post Office, Shanghai. Thereafter, Petitioner and her husband were deported back to India. After death of husband of Petitioner in 1979, Petitioner made a representation to Government of India only on 18th September, 2003 for release of amounts lying deposited in said accounts, who in turn forwarded her claim to Embassy of India at China. Meanwhile, Shanghai Post Office vide letter dated 09th September, 2003 informed Petitioner that her claim stood abandoned for failing to register it within assigned time after issuance of said policy of Chinese Government.

Petitioner was unable to provide with any specific obligation under which Government of India has to pursue private claims of Petitioner against a foreign government. Government of India is under no obligation to raise a dispute with a foreign government in relation to private claim of Petitioner by merely acknowledging fact of a representation made by Petitioner. Said writ petition suffered from delay, laches, acquiescence and waiver. Last letter received by Petitioner from Ministry of External Affairs dates back to 30th March, 2005 whereas, Appellant approached this court only in 2015. Therefore, same cannot be entertained and Court dismissed appeal.

Tags : Foreign Bank Amount Release

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