German Citizen believed that he acquired Indian Citizenship by Naturalization; Kerala HC said Ignorance of Law had never been an excuse

A German citizen by the name Roland Moesle is charged under Section 3 read with Section 14 (a) and (c) of Foreigners Act and Section 12(1) (c) of the Passport Act. In response to that he applied for anticipatory bail before the Court.

He stated before the Court that he was a German citizen and he entered in India in 2011 with a valid passport. Later on, he started a company and obtained a PAN no. both for the company and himself. He further contended that he was never been questioned about citizenship, while he was obtaining PAN and AADHAR, therefore he thought that he acquired Indian citizenship by the way of Naturalization.

Hearing the matter Justice Ashok Menon said “Ignorance of Law is no excuse…He should have consulted knowledgeable persons to find out the manner in which he could acquire citizenship of India. Hence, his act of continuing his residence in India is definitely a violation of the provisions stated above.”

However the bench said in the aid of German citizen anticipatory bail could be granted to him after imposing some stringent conditions.

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