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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    Voter ID Not A Proof Of Indian Citizenship: Gauhati HC

    The Gauhati High Court(HC) has affirmed that the voter ID of a person is not the conclusive proof of Indian citizenship but “to be proved by admissible evidence “.

    The division bench comprising of Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Parthivjyoti Saikia was hearing a writ petition filed by one Md. Babul Islam from Upper Assam’s Margherita against an order of the Foreigners Tribunal, where he was declared as a foreigner of post-1971 stream.

    “Regarding Electoral Photo Identity Card this court in the case of Md. Babul Islam Vs. State of Assam [WP(C) No. 3547 of 2016] has held that Electoral Photo Identity Card is not a proof of citizenship.” a statement read.

     “…….the Supreme Court has reiterated the legal position that marking of documents as exhibits and their proof are two different legal concepts. Mere production and marking of a document as exhibits cannot be held to be due proof of its contents. Its execution has to be proved by admissible evidence i.e., by the evidence of those persons who can vouchsafe for the truth of the facts in issue,” the judgement added.

    According to reports, a notice was issued to the petitioner asking him to prove his Indian citizenship. He accordingly appeared before the Tribunal and filed a written statement where he claimed that he is an Indian by birth and is a permanent resident of Assam, Margherita. He filed a voter list of 1997 containing his name.

    During proceedings before the Foreigner’s Tribunal, he produced four documents: An Electoral Photo Identity Card; A Registered Sale Deed of 1964, a sale deed of 1970, a voter list of 1997 bearing his name.

    The Tribunal held that Exhibits 3 and 4 were not proved in the manner as required by law. Since no voter lists prior to 1997 could be furnished by the petitioner, the Tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove that his parents entered into Assam prior to Jan 1, 1966. On the conclusion of the hearing, the Tribunal declared the petitioner to be a foreigner of the post-1971 stream.

    The petitioner herein has failed to file voter lists prior to 1997, thereby the petitioner failed to prove that he has been staying in Assam prior to March 25th, 1971.

    Photo Credit: GovInfo.me


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