Gau HC | Interference with Foreigners’ Tribunal order not warranted where no error apparent on the face of record – Petition of person declared a ‘foreigner’, who entered Assam in 1965, dismissed

Gauhati High Court: A Division Bench of Manojit Bhuyan and Prasanta Kumar Deka, JJ. dismissed a petition filed by a person against the order of Foreigners’ Tribunal, whereby he was declared a foreigner.

Petitioner herein assailed the order passed by the Foreigners’ Tribunal, in which he was declared to be a foreigner of the post-1971 stream. To support that he was not a foreigner within the meaning of section 2(i)(a) of the Foreigners Act, 1946, he produced and exhibited the following documents: (i) photostat copy of a Relief Eligibility Certificate; (ii) computer-generated certified copy of voter list of 1970; (iii) copy of a sale deed; (iv) certified copy of janambandi, and (v) computer-generated certified copy of voter list of 1989.

The Court noted that reliance was placed on Relief Eligibility Certificate because this document records entry of persons into India on 09-04-1965 and name of the petitioner was recorded therein. Name of the petitioner was also recorded in the voter list of 1989. But, there was no voter list prior to 1989 which recorded the name of the petitioner as a voter. There were no documents to show that the petitioner had been ordinarily a resident in Assam since the date of his alleged entry into Assam in 1965. This fact assumed importance, because, being ordinarily a resident of Assam since the date of entry was one of the condition precedent under Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Moreover, the sale deed and janambandi submitted by the petitioner did not stand proved either through the production of original records or through the legal testimony of custodian of the said records.

The Court observed that the order of the Tribunal was rendered upon the due appreciation of the entire facts, evidence and documents brought on record. It did not find any infirmity in the findings and opinion of the Tribunal. The Court observed that its jurisdiction was supervisory and not appellate jurisdiction, thus it refrained from reviewing the findings of the Tribunal. It also stated that the petitioner failed to make out any case demonstrating any errors apparent on the face of the record to warrant the interference of the impugned opinion.

Thus, the petition was dismissed for being devoid of any merit.[Anil Barman v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Gau 2238, decided on 10-06-2019]

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