Madras High Court has directed the center to allow UK national to return to his country without paying penalty of overstay in India

Madras High Court

In this case center was directed by Madras High Court to permit the UK National to return to his Country without payment of any penalty for the overstay during COVID-19 pandemic. The man was stranded in India during COVID-19. The case was Timothy Donald Archer V/S The Foreigner Regulation Registration Offer and Others.[(Mad)9 of 2023][W.P.(MD) No.27937 of 2022]. The case was presided by THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.R.SWAMINATHAN

Facts of the case

  1. The petitioner was Timothy Donald Archer who was a permanent resident of United Kingdom, had arrived India in November 2019 to visit different places as a tourist. After roaming and visiting different places when it’s time to return his country COVID-19 hit the world and he got stuck in India. As a result he got stranded in India.
  2. When he wanted to return back to his country, the government gave him leave and granted him exit permit but called upon to him to pay visa charges and penalty for overstay. Though he was ready to pay visa charges but he was not ready to pay penalties.
  3. Archer contended that any payment of penalty will adversely impact on him and might make it difficult for him to obtain travel documents from others countries in future.
  4. He also said that paying penalty means he willfully did the default when in reailty nothing was there as such. The only reason is COVID-19 due to which he was stuck in here.


The learned court find both the reason justified and said that if the petitioner would be living here deliberately then authority would have charged the penalty for overstay but he was stuck here due to pandemic. The court granted him permission to return his country without paying penalty for over staying.

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