Voter ID, Land Revenue Receipts, PAN Card Bank Documents Not a Proof Of Citizenship: Gauhati HC

Team SoOLEGAL 20 Feb 2020 5:51pm

Voter ID, Land Revenue Receipts, PAN Card Bank Documents Not a Proof Of Citizenship: Gauhati HC

Recently, Gauhati High Court reiterated that Pan Card, bank documents, Voter ID, and land revenue receipts are no proof of citizenship.

Last week, the Bench of Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Parthivjyoti Saikia passed two orders to that effect, while upholding orders from the Foreigners ' Tribunal.

In the case of Jabeda Begum @ Jabeda Khatun v. Union of India and ors. WP(C) 7451/2019, a Superintendent of Police has asked the complainant to prove her citizenship after a query. The Notice was given by the Foreigners Tribunal at Baksa, Tamulpur. However, the tribunal was not persuaded of its connection with her projected parents and brothers.

After a writ petition challenging the ruling, the High Court upheld the findings of the Tribunal. The Bench affirmed that certificates given by the village of Gaon Bura would not prove citizenship, nor would they have land revenue payment receipts.

It also relied, in particular, on the judgment of Gauhati High Court in Md. Babul Islam v. Union of India in 2016 holding that PAN Card is also not sufficient proof of citizenship. The Bench has cited Babul Islam to affirm another Foreigners ' Tribunal ruling which found a man to be a post-1971 stream foreigner.

In the case, Munindra Biswas v. Union of India and ors., WP(C) 7426/2019 the petitioner had failed to convince the Tribunal that his parents had reached Assam before January 1966,.

The High Court finds no reason for intervening with the decision of the Tribunal, while also noting that the Electoral Photo Identity Card (Voter ID) is not proof of citizenship in the light of the Md. Babul Islam ruling.

The High Court also noted that there was no mistake on the part of the Tribunal in failing to rely on the petitioner's sales deeds, noting that sales deeds are private records that must be proven before they can be relied upon.

The High Court states in both cases it is only examining whether the Tribunal has committed any perversity in passing its ruling.

The power of the Writ Court exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is supervisory only, not appellate/reviewing. The opinion of the Tribunal is based on facts. As a Writ Court we would not have gone into evidence. We just wanted reassure ourselves and we find that there is no perversity in the decision of the Tribunal. Hence, we find that this writ petition is devoid of merit. It stands dismissed and disposed of accordingly. No costs.”.

Tagged: Pan Card   bank documents   Voter ID   revenue receipts   proof of citizenship   Gauhati High Court  
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