“This is to inform all concerned that my visa did expire on Oct 6, 2013. As per the standard rules, I had made an application for extension of my visa to the concerned department of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi on Sep 14, 2013,” said Sami. “This is a standard procedure that is followed by all foreigners and I have been following it for the past 14 years. Hence, this year is no different. Until the visa extension is granted, I have to be in India as I cannot leave.”
The police issued a notice to Sami yesterday under the Foreigners Act, 1946, for overstaying in the country with a visa that expired 10 days ago. “The Mumbai police are very much aware of my situation. The important part is that I have followed the procedure as per routine,” Sami said.
The issue that Sami’s visa had expired came to light during the hearing of his divorce-cum-property dispute last week between him and his ex-wife Sabah Galadari over possession of a duplex flat in Lokhandwala complex, following which Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) film wing chief Amey Khopkar asked Sami to leave the country and return only after securing a valid visa. Sami informed the MNS and the police that he had already applied for his visa renewal in New Delhi, but is yet to furnish any documentary evidence to support his claim.
Khopkar said the MNS would approach the police, the state and the central governments over the issue, but Sami, reportedly,sought their co-operation till he secured a renewed visa.