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Guahati HC quashes Foreigners tribunal order declaring a person as foreigner though his parents being declared as Indian Citizen

In a plea, the petitioner Pratap Sakharu has challenged the opinion dated 25.01.2019, passed by the Foreigner Tribunal 1st, Dhemaji. On a reference made by the competent authority, the Tribunal issued notice to the petitioner asking him to prove his Indian Citizenship.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 25, 2020, 11.21 PM IST
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The Tribunal held that the petitioner failed to file document showing that his father had entered India prior to 01.01.1966.
Guwahati: The Guahati High Court quashed the order of the Foreigners tribunal declaring a person as foreigner though his parents being declared as Indian Citizen.

In a plea, the petitioner Pratap Sakharu has challenged the opinion dated 25.01.2019, passed by the Foreigner Tribunal 1st, Dhemaji. On a reference made by the competent authority, the Tribunal issued notice to the petitioner asking him to prove his Indian Citizenship.

He appeared before the Tribunal and filed his written statement. He introduced some documents in support of his claim. The documents were -- Gaonburah certificate, Birth Certificate issued by the Joint Director of Health Service showing that Pratap Sakharu was born to Bhandeer Sakaro and Lakhi Sakharo, the Caste Certificate issued to Bahadur Sakharu, Certificate of registration showing that Sitanath Sakharu, the grandfather of the petitioner was registered under the provision of Citizenship Act; is the Voter Lists of the year 1997 bearing the name of Bahadur Sakhar and his wife Lakhi Sakhar.

During the hearing of the case, the petitioner examined himself and another witness named Paramananda Deori, the Joint Director of Health Service, the petitioner stated in his evidence that his grandfather, Sithanath Sakharu, was an East Pakistan refugee and he came to India and registered his name in the year 1966.

The petitioner stated that at one point of time, his father Bahadur Sakharu was declared as an Indian citizen by a Foreigner Tribunal. According to the Petitioner, his father cast vote for the first time in the year 1997 at the age of 35.

The Tribunal held that the petitioner failed to file document showing that his father had entered India prior to 01.01.1966. Therefore, the petitioner was declared a foreigner of post 1971 stream.

In this court the petitioner has filed a certified copy of another opinion given by a Foreigner Tribunal, Dhemaji on 25.01.2019, whereby, Lakhi Sakhar, the mother of the petitioner, was declared an Indian.

“If father and mother are both declared Indian by Foreigner Tribunals then we find ourselves foreclosed against all options, but to hold that the petitioner is also an Indian citizen. We find that the Tribunal erroneously held that the petitioner to be foreigner and therefore the opinion of the Tribunal is not sustainable in law. We find merit in this writ petition. Consequently, the opinion of the Tribunal, dated 25.01.2019, holding the petitioner to be a foreigner of post 1971 stream, is quashed”, the court order stated.

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