The Guwahati High Court recently allowed a writ petition filed by one Idrish Ali seeking to set aside the order passed by the Foreigner’s Tribunal which declared him to be a foreigner. The Court held that proof beyond all reasonable doubt is not necessary before a Foreigner’s Tribunal in order to establish citizenship.

The petitioner had produced as many as 11 various documents before the Tribunal including voter’s lists for the years of 1985 and 1989. However, the Court rejected the same stating that his name was not included in the voter’s list of 1974 and 1975 and hence he failed to establish a link prior to the year 1971.

The High Court criticized the approach taken by the Tribunal and also observed that strict rules of evidence are not applicable to such cases. They also noted that the observations of the Tribunal pertaining to the voter’s lists could not be sustained.

Thus, the High Court while allowing the petition also directed the Tribunal to take fresh note of the case in question based on its merits and added that the petitioner would be at liberty to apply for a bail before the Tribunal. The Court also ordered that the petitioner be taken out of the detention camp and be produced before the tribunal in the next hearing.


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Link for Judgement: Idrish Ali v. Union of India & ors.