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Haryana

Voter ID card, passport prove citizenship: Court

December 15, 2019 06:16 AM

courtesy  TIMESOF INDIA DEC 15
Rebecca.Samervel@timesgroup.com

Mumbai:

Holding that passports and voter identity cards are sufficient proof of citizenship, a magistrate court has acquitted a father and son accused of illegally entering the country from Bangladesh.


Mohamed Mulla, 57, and Saiful, 23, were arrested in 2017 after the police received a tip-off about “Bangladeshi infiltrators” living at Shivaji Nagar in Govandi. The cops claimed they spoke in a language native to Bangladesh and could not produce sufficient documents to prove that they were Indian citizens.

But the duo presented Indian passports and voter ID cards in court. “To my mind, the passport is a document sufficient to prove the nationality of accused No. 2 (Saiful). Similarly, the voter card or the election card used to be issued in favour of the voter on the declaration that he is citizen of India. The document is sufficient to prove the nationality of accused Mohamed,” said the court.

‘Father, son Indians as cops did not prove docus fake’

It clarified that other documents such as ration card, Aadhaar card and other identity cards are not enough to prove nationality. While Aadhaar card does not confer any right or proof of citizenship, the ration card is issued only on “humanitarian grounds” for protecting the persons from starvation and cannot be termed as proof of citizenship. “However, at the time of issuance of passport, the authorities verify the nationality and other relevant factors of the applicant,” said the court.

Ruling in favour of the Mullas, the court held that the police had not produced any evidence to show that the documents — passport and voter ID card — were fabricated or forged. “I have arrived at the conclusion that the prosecution miserably failed to prove that the accused persons are foreigners and that they had entered India through unauthorised routes without holding valid documents,” said the court.

The prosecution had submitted that at the time of being booked in June 2017, the Mullas had “admitted” that they are Bangladeshis and had come to India without passport through an unauthorised route to escape poverty. Hence, they were booked under the Passport (Entry into India) Rules and the Foreigners Order.

The court said no written confession was given by the accused before any judicial authority. “The confession before police is not admissible evidence,” it pointed out

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