Land revenue receipts, PAN, bank documents no proof of citizenship: Gauhati High Court
Guwahati/ IBNS: The Gauhati High Court has dismissed citizenship claim by a woman who produced as many as 15 documents including Land Revenue Paying Receipt, Bank Passbook, Voter list, Permanent Account Number (PAN).
The division bench of Gauhati High Court comprising Justices Manojit Bhuyan and Parthivjyoti Saikia has dismissed a writ petition filed by Jabeda Begum of Assam’s Baksa district.
50-year-old Jabeda Begum alias Jabeda Khatun, wife of Rekek Ali hailing from Guwahari village under Tamulpur police station in Baksa district had filed a writ petition before the Gauhati High Court after she was declared as a foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal of Baksa district despite her claim that she is a citizen of India by birth.
Jabeda had challenged the opinion dated 31.05.2019, passed by the Foreigners’ Tribunal, Baksa, Tamulpur, Assam, declaring her to be a foreigner of post-1971 stream.
Jabeda claimed that she was born at Bangalpara and her parents' names are Late Jabed Ali and Jahura Khatun alias Jahera Kharan and due to river embankment erosion, her father had shifted from Bangalpara to No. 2 Dongoragaon and lived there till his death.
She also claimed that the names of her parents appeared in the Voter List of 1966 and even the names of her grandparents had appeared in the Voter List of 1966 and also her father’s name appeared in the Voter lists of 1970 and 1997.
Jabeda also claimed that the names of her parents and two brothers, namely, Samsul Ali and Insal Ali also appeared in the Voter List of 2015.
Jabeda also stated before the court that, she has three brothers, namely, Insan Ali, Khairul Ali and Samsul Ali, and two younger sisters, namely, Morjina Begum and Taravanu Begum and she was married to Md. Rejak Ali of the same village and thereafter, her name appeared in the Voter Lists of 2008.
She had also stated that in the year 1997 also, her name appeared in the Voter List but it was marked as ‘D’ Voter.
She produced as many as 15 documents including, NRC details, Land Revenue Paying Receipt, Voter list, Permanent Account Number (PAN), bank documents, ration card before the court.
Jabeda had also produced two certificates by Gaon Bura (village headman) – one certificate of Gaon Bura certifying that Md. Jabed Ali is a permanent resident of Village No. 2 Dongergaon and another certificate of Village Gaon Bura certifying that the petitioner being the daughter of Late Jabed Ali was married to Rejak Ali.
It is to be mentioned that, during the updating process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the Supreme Court has allowed married women to submit Gaon Bura (village headman) certificates as documents to establish their relationship to their parents for including their names in the NRC through proper verification.
The final NRC list was published on Aug 31 last year by leaving over 19.06 lakh people.
The complete list containing 3.11 crore inclusions and over 19.06 lakh exclusions has been uploaded in the official website of the NRC State Coordinator following order of the Supreme Court.
An advocate of Gauhati High Court Syed Burhanur Rahman said that Jabeda was not able to link her relationship with her parent by submitting documents.
“Unfortunately the linkage documents were not correctly or properly given as per the order. She gave the Gaon Bura certificates and the Gaon Bura appeared before the Foreigners’ Tribunal and if that is appreciated in the correct manner than probably she could still hope to proof her citizenship in the Supreme Court,” Sayed Burhanur Rahman said.
Recently, the Gauhati High Court has said that an Electoral Photo Identity Card is not conclusive proof of Indian citizenship but to be proved by admissible evidence.
(By Hemanta Kumar Nath, Guwahati)