The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai has recently held that an Election card or Voter’s ID is sufficient proof of citizenship as a person files a declaration with the concerned competent authority in accordance with the Representation of the People Act that they are Indian citizens. And in the case where this declaration is found to be false, they can be held liable for punishment as per the Act.
The Court acquitted the two accused, Abbas Shaikh and his wife Rabiya Khatoon Shaikh who had been charged for breach of condition which is punishable under the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 as well as breach of the Foreigners Order, 1948 that is punishable under Sec. 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946.
The case was based on certain ‘secret information’ that some ‘Bangldeshi infiltrators’ were residing in Mumbai. Police statements indicated that the accused persons entered India through an unauthorized route without the necessary and valid documentation. They did this in order to escape the huge amount of poverty and ever-increasing starvation in Bangladesh.
In the matter, the burden of proving their Indian Citizenship lied solely on the accused persons. The court noted that the Aadhar card, the PAN card and Election card were submitted by the accused. And these documents being documentations issued by the public authorities, were admissible in evidence.
The court held that although the Aadhar card and PAN card are not sufficient documents to prove citizenship as they are not meant for that purpose, the Election card is sufficient evidence to prove citizenship of a person. And they are ample evidence in showing their Nationality as Indians.
The court concluded by stating that since the prosecution miserably failed to prove the said charges, both the accused were acquitted.
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Link for Judgement: State v. Rabbiul Chanmiya Mizi