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The Gauhati High Court on 12 February, while citing a previous judgment (Md. Babul Islam Vs. Union of India), ascertained that the land revenue receipts, as well as the PAN Card and Bank documents, do not prove the citizenship of a person.

A division bench of Justices Maojit Bhuyan and Parthivjyoti Saikia while dismissing a writ petition filed by the petitioner, Jabeda Begum challenging an order passed by Foreigner Tribunal that declared her as a foreigner post the 1971 stream, observed that the writ petition is devoid of merit and has dismissed the same.

The issue came to light when the Superintendent of Police, the Foreigners Tribunal, Baksa, Assam had issued a notice to the petitioner, Jabeda Begum asking her to prove her Indian citizenship. Subsequently, the petitioner contended that her parents and her grandparents’ names appeared in the Voter’s list of 1966 and that simultaneously her father’s name appeared in the Voter’s list of 1970 and 1997. She further contended that her brother’s name appeared in the Voter’s list of 2015.

However, the petition could not produce any documents showing her projected parents, grandparents and brother to be linked with her in any means and further rejected her plea stating that the Certificates issued by a Village Gaon Bura can never be the proof of citizenship of a person. Subsequently, the same was upheld by the High Court.

“Land Revenue Paying Receipts do not prove citizenship of a person” asserted the court.

Nevertheless, the petitioner relied upon the PAN card and bank documents to prove her citizenship. However, the High Court dismissed her assertion stating that “This Court in Md. Babul Islam Vs. Union of India has already held that PAN Card and Bank documents are not proof of citizenship.”

The High Court observed that the Tribunal has correctly appreciated the evidence placed before it and reiterated that the petitioner failed to prove her linkage with her projected parents and her projected brother. The court further dismissed the present writ petition.

Earlier, the Gauhati High Court has held that an electoral photo identity card was not proof of citizenship.


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