Other States

Gauhati High Court clears man of foreigner tag under NRC

The Gauhati High Court.  

The Gauhati High Court has set aside a two-year-old order of a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) declaring a man a foreigner for failing to establish linkage with all relatives in the pre-1971 voters’ lists.

Establishing the lineage from people who resided or have been residing in India before March 24, 1971, the cut-off date for detecting and deporting foreigners, according to the Assam Accord of 1985, is crucial for entry into the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was updated in August 2019.

About 19.06 lakh of some 3.3 crore applicants were excluded from the list for lack of documents establishing their citizenship.

The FT-III of western Assam’s Barpeta had on January 30, 2019, declared Haider Ali a foreigner for failing to establish his linkage with five persons other than his grandfather Nadu Miya and grandmother Aymona whose names appeared in the voters’ list of 1970.

Hearing Haider Ali’s case on March 15, Justice N. Kotiswar Singh observed that the petitioner’s claim would have strengthened had he disclosed the family tree in more detail.

“…but failure to disclose the names of all the members of the family cannot weaken his case and render his evidence unreliable, nor reduce the credibility of his evidence, when there are other corroborating evidences,” the court’s order on March 30 said.

The court observed that Haider Ali, a resident of Kawaimari Block 12 village, had documents saying he was the son of Harmuz Ali and grandson of Nadu Miya, both admittedly Indians. “The fact that Harmuz Ali was the son of Nadu Miya has already been duly proved by the aforesaid voters’ list of 1970 and 1965, the genuineness of which was not questioned by the State,” the order said.

“Thus, non-explanation of relationship of the petitioner with other persons mentioned in the voters’ list of 1970 cannot be a ground for disbelieving the correctness of the entry of names of the grandparents in the voters’ list, when the correctness of the entry of the names of the petitioner’s father and grandfather was not questioned,” the court said, setting aside the FT order and ordering that the foreigner tag be removed from the 35-year-old Haider Ali.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 1:56:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gauhati-hc-clears-man-of-foreigner-tag-under-nrc/article34296258.ece

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