In Jabeda’s case, a number of documents were submitted but the court was not satisfied since it felt that that the documents were not enough to prove linkage to her parents, said her advocate Ahammad Ali.
The Gauhati High Court has rejected 15 documents submitted by Jabeda Begum of Guwahati village in Tamulpur of Baksa district as proof of her Indian citizenship, The Indian Express reported.
According to the report, Jabeda was declared “a foreigner of post-1971 stream” by a Foreigners Tribunal in May 2019. Following this, she submitted 15 documents including voter lists of four years, a parent’s NRC clearance, land revenue payment receipts, certificates from the village headman attesting to permanent residency and marriage, ration card, PAN card and bank passbook to back her claim of citizenship.
However, she lost the challenge as the High Court ruled that she had “failed to prove her linkage with her projected parents and her projected brother”, said the report.
To be considered an Indian citizen in Assam and make it to the NRC (the final list has since been rejected by the Assam government), people had to prove that either they or their ancestors had been living in Assam before 1971, the Assam Accord cut-off date.
In Jabeda’s case, a number of documents were submitted but the court was not satisfied since it felt that that the documents were not enough to prove linkage to her parents, her advocate Ahammad Ali told the publication.
The High Court’s order read that Jabeda could not file any documents to link herself with her projected parents. Certificates issued by a Village Gaon Bura can never be the proof of citizenship of a person, it stated.
The judges further referred to Md. Babul Islam Vs. Union of India [WP(C)/3547/2016] case in which the court has already held that PAN card and bank documents are not proof of citizenship.
The court further rejected Land Revenue Paying Receipts as proof of citizenship.
“Therefore, we find that the Tribunal has correctly appreciated the evidence placed before it and we could not find any perversity in the decision of the Tribunal. That being the position, we would reiterate that the petitioner failed to prove her linkage with her projected parents and her projected brother. Therefore, we find that this writ petition is devoid of merit and accordingly, we dismiss the same,” the order stated.
According to another advocate in the High Court, Syed Burhanur Rahman, the court order has technically no fault. Jabeda was not able to link her relationship with her parents.
Advocating his statement, Rahman said, “The 1997 voter list she submitted had her husband’s name and not her parents’ names. Moreover, it had marked her ‘D’ or a doubtful voter.”Jabeda could now file a review petition in the High Court or approach the Supreme Court, added Rahman.
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