The Gauhati High Court has turned down an order that declared a man “foreigner” and observed that it was not necessary for the person to show linkage with all relatives mentioned in the voters’ list.
Haider Ali was declared a “foreigner” by the Foreigners Tribunal in Assam despite Mr Ali establishing links with the names of his father and grandfather on the voters’ lists of 1965 and 1970.
The Tribunal in Assam’s Barpeta in its order had said that since Haider Ali had failed to establish his linkage with other projected relatives on the voters’ list, the Tribunal held that he had failed to show his linkages properly.
The High Court however observed that no explanation of the linkage of a person with other names as shown along with his grandparents’ names in the voters’ list of 1970 does not affect the credibility or genuineness of his linkage with his grandparents.
In the Gauhati High Court order copy available with NDTV, it is stated that: “What was crucial and required of the petitioner was to prove before the Tribunal was that Harmuz Ali was his father and that his father, Harmuz Ali was the son of Nadu Miya, who were admittedly Indians. The fact that Harmuz Ali was the son of Nadu Miya has been already duly proved by the aforesaid voters’ lists of 1970 and 1965, genuineness of which was not questioned by the State. Thus, non explanation of relationship of the petitioner with other persons mentioned in the voters’ list of 1970 cannot be a ground for disbelieving the correctness of the entry of the names of the grandparents in the voters list, when the correctness of the entry of the names of the petitioner’s father and grandfather was not questioned.”
The High Court said that the “fact in issue” before the Foreigners Tribunal whether Haider Ali could trace his ancestry to his grandfather Nadu Miya through his father Harmuz Ali since Nadu Miya was “admittedly an Indian who had been casting his vote since 1966”.
“The fact in issue was not whether the petitioner had other relatives also. Thus, non-mentioning of his other relatives as well as that of his father cannot be a ground for disbelieving his testimony and the documents relied upon by the petitioner,” the Court observed adding, that disclosing his family tree in more detail would strengthen Haider Ali’s claim. But not disclosing the names of all the members of the family cannot “render his evidence unreliable” or “reduce the credibility of his evidence, when there are other corroborating evidences”, it said.
In view of this the High Court held that all the evidences are “corroborative in nature” and failure to disclose all relevant facts “does not ipso facto (by itself) lead to the inference that his evidence is unreliable.”