NRI doctor refused practice in India; appraoches HC

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New Delhi, Jan 5 (UNI) After running from pillar to post for the last two years in vain to get permission to practice in India, a young Indian dentist having a Canadian passport has approached the Delhi High Court to direct the ministries concerned to allow her to practice here, claiming she is an ''overseas'' citizen.

Twenty-six-year-old Rita Sikka held an Indian passport for the last 20 years. She migrated to Canada with her parents and got a Canadian passport. She studied Dentistry at the British Columbia University.

Ms Sikka got married in India and is staying here since then.

She thought of practising here but to her utter dismay when she applied in The Dental Council Of India in 2006 for a licence, which is a mandatory clause, she was refused the permission to practice stating that she was a foreign national.

She has been battling her case with three ministries -- Ministry of Overseas Indian affairs (MOIA), Ministry of Health and Family welfare (MH&FW) and Ministry of Home affairs (MOH) -- ever since but till now she has no clue as to what her status is.

Ms Sikka says that though there is an amendment in the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2003 which states that an overseas Indian can seek employement in India, the wavering attitude here has forced her to approach the court.

Calling the Pravasiya Divas a ''hoax'', Ms Sikka said there was no co-ordination between the ministries and the overseas Indians, who when come back are harrassed.

Ms Sikka said many Indians were returning to use their talent for the country's sake but the ''callous attitude of our ministries dissappoints them''.

Her case is pending in the Delhi High Court and will be heard on January 22 in Justice Ravinder Bhatt's Court.

In her petition, she has stated that in view of her being an Indian and holding a foreign passport, she should be allowed the benefits of the government's Dual Passport Scheme as well as overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Scheme.

UNI SNG KD AS1833

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