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Gauhati High Court says Electoral Photo Identity Card is not a proof of citizenship

Gauhati High Court says Electoral Photo Identity Card is not a proof of citizenship

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 Feb 2020, 11:41 pm

Guwahati/IBNS: Amid strong debate over citizenship across the county along with protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Gauhati High Court has said that an Electoral Photo Identity Card is not a conclusive proof of Indian citizenship.

The division bench of Gauhati High Court comprising of Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Parthivjyoti Saikia has recently given the judgement while hearing a writ petition filed by one Md. Babul Islam from Margherita in Assam’s Tinsukia district.

Md. Babul Islam filed a writ petition against an order of the Foreigners Tribunal, where he was declared as a foreigner of the post-1971 stream.

The court delivered the judgment by referring to a previous order.

“…the Supreme Court has reiterated the legal position that marking of documents as exhibits and their proof are two different legal concepts. Mere production and marking of a document as exhibits cannot be held to be due proof of its contents. Its execution has to be proved by admissible evidence i.e., by the evidence of those persons who can vouch safe for the truth of the facts in issue. Regarding Electoral Photo Identity Card this court in the case of Md. Babul Islam Vs. State of Assam [WP(C) No. 3547 of 2016] has held that Electoral Photo Identity Card is not a proof of citizenship. The petitioner herein has failed to file voter lists prior to 1997, thereby the petitioner failed to prove that he has been staying in Assam prior to 25.03.1971,” the judgment said.

Clause 5 of the Assam Accord deals with the foreigners classified under three heads for identification and differential treatment.

According to the Assam Accord, all persons who came to Assam prior to January 1, 1966, including those whose names appear on the electoral rolls used in 1967 elections, shall be regularized.

On the other hand, the foreigners who came to Assam after January 1, 1966 (inclusive) and upto March 24, 1971 shall be detected in accordance with the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964 and would be disenfranchised for 10 years that they will get voting rights only after expiry of 10 years from the date of their detection or declaration as foreigner.

Those came into Assam on or after March 25, 1971, shall continue to be detected, deleted and deported.

Senior advocate of Gauhati High Court Bijan Mahajan said that the Gauhati High Court has against delivered a judgment that, Electoral Photo Identity Card is not proof of Indian citizenship.

(By Hemanta Kumar Nath, Guwahati)


Gauhati High Court says Electoral Photo Identity Card is not a proof of citizenship

India Blooms News Service
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