Assam: Man enjoyed citizenship privileges despite being declared foreigner in 1999
GUWAHATI: A man continued to enjoy the rights and advantages of an Indian citizen in Assam, including voting for more than 20 years despite being declared a foreigner in 1999.
The situation was brought to light during the hearing of Jagat Ghosh’s plea before the Gauhati high court, which was appealing a foreigners’ tribunal’s decision proclaiming him a foreigner.
Ghosh, a resident of Lanka in Nagaon district entered Assam between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971, according to the sources.
It issued an ex-parte order against Ghosh on May 3, 1999, for failing to appear in person or produce evidence proving that he entered Assam before January 1, 1966.
He was told that he needed to register as a foreigner with the Nagaon Superintendent of Police (Border), according to sources.
People who entered Assam between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 and were found to be foreigners are required to register with the local authorities within 60 days as per Citizenship Act, 1955. If their names appear on electoral rolls, they must be deleted for a period of ten years, but they will continue all other privileges granted to citizens. They can be proclaimed Indians after ten years and their names added to voter lists.
According to the sources, Ghosh claimed that despite the tribunal’s order, he was not registered as a foreigner due to his ignorance. He learned of the court’s decision in 2018 and that he approached the high court in 2020.
According to the papers annexed by the petitioner, the petitioner had been voting, constantly from 1970 to the present, thereby effectively enjoying all of the rights and pleasures of citizenship, said official.
Furthermore, all state authorities involved in the process of detecting foreigners were also unaware of the foreigners’ tribunal’s ex-parte order.
While dismissing the plea, the court ordered Ghosh to register with the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer in Nagaon within 60 days.