The Supreme Court in an order has put a stay on the deportation of an Assam woman who had been excluded from the final draft of the state’s National Register of Citizens on September 23.
In 2019, the Gauhati High Court had upheld a 2017 verdict by a Foreigners Tribunal that the woman was not a citizen of India.
It is to be mentioned here athat earlier, the judges in both courts held that the woamn had entered Assam illegally through Bangladesh after March 25, 1971 – the cutoff date in the northeastern state to prove citizenship.
On September 23, 2022, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli were hearing a plea filed by the woman challenging the High Court verdict.
Advocate Pijush Kanti Roy, appearing for the woman told the judges that all her family members had been declared Indian citizens. However, the Foreigners Tribunal held that she had entered the country illegally and directed the authorities to take action.
Meanwhile, the petitioner also appealed that the woman is an Indian citizen by birth.
It states that she had produced ample documents to substantiate her claim and discharge her burden under Section 9 of the Foreigners Act, 1946 which have been considered neither by the Tribunal nor by the High Court.
These documents include voter lists of different years showing her name, NRC documents, voter identity card, certificate issued by the Secretary to the Gaon Panchayat and Jamabandi Records.
It is argued that passing orders that have far-reaching consequences without looking into the documents put forth by the petitioner is a gross miscarriage of justice.
The petition further submits that the petitioner's parents, siblings, husband, in-laws and children have been declared as Indian citizens by the competent authority. Though her name was reflected in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), it is not there in the final NRC.
Following which the bench of judges took this argument into consideration to put a stay on the woman’s deportation till the next hearing of the plea after three years and asked the Centre and Assam government to file their responses to the petition.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today