A Man Declared Foreigner In 1999 Still Enjoys All Rights Of An Indian Citizen

Mr. Ghosh reportedly claimed that despite the order from the tribunal, he did not register as a foreigner due to his own ignorance. He came to know of the court’s decision in 2018 and in 2020, he approached the high court.

Despite being declared a foreigner in 1999, a man, Jagat Ghosh, from Assam has continued to hold the rights of an Indian citizen including voting. The issue came to light during a plea hearing in the Gauhati High Court.

The issue came to light during the hearing of Jagat Ghosh’s plea in the Gauhati High Court, appealing a foreigner’s tribunal decision of declaring him a foreigner. The court had earlier issued an ex-parte order against him on May 3, 1999 for failing to appear in person or produce any proof of him entering before January 1, 1966.

Mr. Ghosh, who is a resident of Lanka in Nagaon district of Assam, had entered the state reportedly between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971.

He was reportedly told to register with the Nagaon Superintendent of Police (Border). According to the Citizenship Act of 1955, people who entered Assam between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 and were found to be foreigners, were required to register with local authorities within 60 days.

They would however, enjoy other privileges given to a citizen, excepting voting rights, that is, if their names appeared on electoral rolls, they must be deleted for a period of ten years. They can be proclaimed as Indians after ten years and have their names on the voter lists.

Mr. Ghosh reportedly claimed that despite the order from the tribunal, he did not register as a foreigner due to his own ignorance. He came to know of the court’s decision in 2018 and in 2020, he approached the high court.

The papers attached by him, he had been voting since 1970, thereby proving that he enjoyed every right of an Indian citizen. Interestingly, state authorities involved in identifying foreigners were also unaware of the ex-parte order of the foreigner’s tribunal.

The High Court has dismissed his plea and ordered him to register with the Foreigner Regional Registration Officer in Nagaon within 60 days.

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