New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday rejected a woman’s plea against an order of a foreigners’ tribunal that placed her under the foreigner category and said that documents like bank statements, Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards and land-revenue receipts cannot be used as a proof of Indian citizenship.
However, the above-mentioned documents were in the list of documents, which the authorities who carried out NRC exercise in Assam, accepted as identity proofs, to identify illegal immigrants.
In the recent order, Justices Manojit Bhuyan and Parthivjyoti Saikia of the Gauhati High Court mentioned the Gauhati HC’s 2016 order ruling out that PAN cards, bank documents and land revenue-paying receipts cannot be used as a proof of citizenship.
“This court… has already held that PAN card and bank documents are not proof of citizenship. Land revenue-paying receipts do not prove citizenship of a person. Therefore, we find that the tribunal has correctly appreciated the evidence placed before it…” the high court said.
The order came after Jabeda Begum alias Jabeda Khatun filed a plea in the Gauhati High court against a foreigners’ tribunal order in which she was declared as a foreigner owing to lack of necessary documents.
Jabeda Begum had submitted 14 documents to the foreigners’ tribunal including a certificate issued by the village chief declaring her father’s identity and her husband’s identity. However, the high court and the foreigners’ tribunal said that she failed to provide any document that links her to her parents.
The same bench of Gauhati High court had earlier ruled that voter identity cards are also not proof of the citizenship.
The final list of Assam NRC published last year in August had left out around 19 lakh people from the citizen’s list. The government has set up hundreds of foreigners’ tribunals across the north-east state which will review the cases of those who have been mistakenly left out from the final list.
Further, the cases rejected by foreigners’ tribunals can approach the high court and, if needed, the Supreme Court. The central government has said people whose names are not part of the NRC will not be declared foreigners till all legal options are exhausted.
Posted By: Talib Khan