I thought over the question again and adding to my two earlier observations (@10:02 am and @ 11:27 am), I have the following to say.
‘Can’ denotes uncertainty, the possibility of an event happening or the possibility that an event may not happen. ‘Any’ includes one or some or all without any specification. The certainty or its lack [of filing patent application] should equally apply to every SAARC country. Either you should be allowed to file application in every SAARC country or not.
Since it says “any SAARC country” it should include all SAARC countries as there does not [and should not] include any exception or limitation with the use of word “any”. But understanding it from the point of view of our friend litigantxyz, there arises an inherent limitation or exception in the question because what applies to other SAARC countries does not apply to one of the SAARC country i.e., India. This will give inconsistent meaning to the word “any”, which grammatically speaking, should not be read with any limitations or exceptions. If you look at the question, it further reads “before filing it in India”, and what would justify the presence of this phrase?
So in my opinion the better way to read this question is:
Any Indian resident can file a patent in any [all SAARC countries, except India] SAARC country before filing it in India. (I believe the phrase “before filing it in India” was deliberately inserted to allow the reader to exclude India from the purview of “any SAARC country”). The affect would be finding the statement FALSE.
It would be interesting to know how our other friends understands this query. I would be glad if my interpretation is found flawed. This will give me an opportunity to know a different perspective! In any case we learn!