Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has granted relief to an aggrieved resident of Assam whose deceased mother was declared a “foreigner” by an ex-parte opinion of a foreigner’s tribunal.
The petitioner, Tarapada Namadas was aggrieved by an ex-parte opinion dated September 25, 1997 of the Foreigners Tribunal, Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Goalpara in F.T. Case number 476/K/86, by which his mother Sorojoni Sarkar was declared a “foreigner who had entered the state of Assam between 1966 and 1971.”
The petitioner had contended that because of such an opinion, his legal rights otherwise as a citizen of India were being questioned by some authorities.
However, finding the opinion to be “unsustainable in law”, the division bench of the High Court ordered that “all legal rights of the petitioner as a citizen of India, without taking any recourse to an ex-parte opinion of a foreigners tribunal against his mother, will be available to the petitioner.”
The petitioner had referred to a voters’ list of 1966 of village Pam Mayanbori, Mouza Baghbor in Barpeta district, which allegedly contained the name of his mother, Sorojoni Namadas.
The High Court said there was confusion with respect to the official name of the petitioner’s mother “but still the materials as indicated above lead in favour of a declaration that there cannot be any ex-parte opinion rendered in a foreigner’s tribunal against the mother of the petitioner.”
The petitioner had also referred to an order dated January 6, 2016 of the Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Gossaigaon under Rule 3 of the Assam Registration of Birth/Death Rules, 1977, by which it had been ordered that the date of death of Sorojoni Namadas, wife of Brajabasi Namadas was May 16, 1991 and it had to be accepted that the mother of the petitioner Sorojoni Namadas had died on May 16, 1991.
But when the court verified the records of service of notice on Sorojoni Namadas in connection with the F.T. case number 476/K/86 of the Foreigners Tribunal at Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Goalpara, it noticed that “there is a report by the process server containing the signature as well as the left thumb impression of Sorojoni Namadas in the year 1997.”
“If Sorojoni Namadas died in the year 1991, the report of the process server appears to be frivolous,” the court observed.
“From the point of view that the notice was not appropriately served upon Sorojoni Sarkar and also from the point of view that when the opinion was rendered, Sorojoni Sarkar, wife of Brajabasi Sarkar was no more, we have to understand that the ex-parte opinion is unsustainable in law,” it held.
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“Although there is a question as to whether Sorojoni Sarkar, wife of Brajabasi Sarkar, and Sorojoni Namadas, wife of Brajabasi Namadas are one and the same person remains, but still the materials indicated lead in favour of a declaration that there cannot be any ex-parte opinion rendered in a foreigners tribunal against the mother of the petitioner Sorojoni Namadas, wife of Brajabasi Namadas of village Pam Mayanbori, Mouza Baghbor in the Barpeta district,” it said.
“Accordingly, all legal rights of the petitioner as a citizen of India, without taking any recourse to an ex-parte opinion of a foreigners tribunal against his mother, would be available to the petitioner,” the court said.
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