Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court on Wednesday rejected a petition filed by a 50-year-old woman, seeking restoration of her citizenship on the basis of 15 documents, including her PAN Card and voter lists having the names of her parents, produced by her.
The bench of Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Parthivjyoti Saikia dismissed the petition of Jabeda Begum claiming that she “failed to prove her linkage with her projected parents and her projected brother”.
The 15 documents, which the petitioner submitted to the foreign tribunal, include PAN card and ration card, two bank passbooks, the NRC details of her father Jabed Ali, voter lists where the names of her grandparents, parents and her along with her husband were published and several land revenue receipts.
To prove citizenship and for the inclusion in the the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, applicants are supposed to submit any one of the 14 documents issued before March 1971.
Though Jabeda Begum had submitted some documents of her father dating back to 1966, the foreigners tribunal in 2018 declared the woman to be a foreigner as she failed to prove her linkage with her father. The court too concurred with the tribunal’s ruling on Wednesday.
In the absence of a birth certificate, the woman had submitted a certificate from her village headman that named her parents and place of birth. It was not accepted by the tribunal as well as the High Court.
Woman’s family fails to get listed in NRC
The family had also failed to get their name in the National Register of Citizens which was published in 2019. They could not vote also as both husband and wife were marked “doubtful voters” in the voters list.
The Doubtful Voters (D-voters) are a special category in Assam whose citizenship credentials were questioned during the identification and deportation of foreigners earlier. The D-voters were asked to prove their citizenship before the foreigners tribunal.
Jabeda Begum, disappointed with the Gauhati High Court, said, “I spent whatever money I had. Now I am left with no more resources to continue my legal battle.”
She is the only earning member of her family and her husband Rejak Ali has been ailing for long. The couple had three daughters, one of whom died in an accident and another one went missing. The youngest, Asmina, is a student of Class 5.
The biggest concern of the family now is their daughter. If Jabeda Begum fails to prove her citizenship, she will be sent to a detention centre where process of her deportation will start.
After a five-year long exercise supervised by the Supreme Court to identify foreigners in Assam, the updated NRC of Assam excluded the names of 19 lakh applicants when it was published in August 2019....