Gauhati High Court. Image Source: IANS News

Guwahati, April 13 : The Gauhati High Court has set aside an order of a Foreigners' Tribunal declaring a state resident a "foreigner" for not showing linkage with all his relatives mentioned in the voters' list even after he had established his linkage with his father and grandfather.

A High Court official on Tuesday said that Haidar Ali, through various documents, had established his relation with his father, Harmuz Ali and grandfather, Nadu Miya, whose names were enrolled in the voters' lists of 1965 and 1970.

However, the FT in Barpeta, in its order on January 30, 2019, has observed that Haidar Ali had failed to establish his associations with his other relatives in the two voters' lists and declared him a foreigner.

Ali, a resident of Kawaimari village, Sarthebari, had moved the HC challenging the tribunal order.

Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, who heard the case, recently passed an order in his favour.

"Non-explanation of the linkage of the petitioner with others whose names were shown along with his grandparents in the voters' list of 1970 does not affect the credibility or genuineness of the evidence in the form of voters' list of 1970, to show the linkage of the petitioner with his grandparents," the judge said in his order.

"The voters' list of 1965 shows that the names of Nadu Mia and Aymona Nessa are included who the petitioner claims to be his grandparents, thereby showing that they were Indian citizens. The fact in issue was not whether the petitioner had other relatives also. Thus, non-mentioning of his other relatives as well as that of his father cannot be a ground for disbelieving his testimony and the documents relied upon by the petitioner." The FTs can declare a man foreigner, based on the Assam Accord of 1985, according to which immigrants, who entered the state after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported. The National Register of Citizens in Assam is being updated, based on this cut-off date.

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