On June 8, 66-year-old Nata Sundari Mandal received a notice from the Sonitpur Foreigners Tribunal, claiming that she had entered India illegally between 1 January 1966 and 23 March 1971 and he needs to appear before the tribunal to prove his citizenship.
Similar notices were served to Nata Sundari’s husband Kashi Nath Mandal, 68, a daily wage labourer, and their 40-year-old son Govindo.
However, instead of getting upset, the family is confused.
This is the third time that the poor Hindu family of Balijan Kachari village will have to prove that they are Indians and true citizens of the country.
In 2016, he was adjudged a legal citizen of the country by the Sonitpur Tribunal after submitting legal documents. “In 2018, my elder sister, who is married and lives in Darrang district of Assam, was served a notice. The tribunal then ruled that he was an Indian after verifying all the documents. My father Kashi Nath was again served notice in 2018. This was the second time he had received such a notice. We fought it in the tribunal and the verdict was in my father’s favour. My father then told the magistrate that he was sick and tired of proving Indian in his homeland and did not want to undergo legal persecution again,” said Nakul Mandal, another son of Kashi Nath Mandal.
“Thirty-eight members of our erstwhile joint family are named in the National Register of Citizens 1951, who are required to be citizens of the country and most importantly to reside in Assam. Apart from this, the names of our family members are in the electoral rolls of the elections of 1966, 1971 and onwards. My grandfather Subal Chandra Mandal’s name is also there in the 1951 NRC. The names of my father and all the family members are in the updated NRC published in 2019 and they have valid Aadhaar and PAN documents. What else is needed to be called an Indian,” Nakul asked.
According to Nakul, the then Superintendent of Police had taken cognizance of repeated notices to the family and the veracity of their evidence. “I had to sell my six cows at a time to pay the lawyer’s fees. Each case cost us around Rs 50,000 and so far we have paid Rs 1.5 lakh to prove that we are Indians. I don’t know how my old and fragile father will react to this. I request CM Himanta Biswa Sarma to bring us justice.
A local businessman from the village, Anil Mandal, is also facing a similar problem. He was given notice of being an illegal citizen in 2011 and 2016 and the tribunal has ruled in his favor in both the cases.
“It is mental and physical harassment. We don’t even know who is registering a case against us,” said Anil Mandal.
the court said
The Gauhati High Court on May 6 ruled that a person who once proved his citizenship cannot be asked about it again.
There are hundreds of cases across Assam where people are getting notices from foreign tribunal courts even after proving their Indian identity supported by sufficient documents.
A special bench of the Gauhati High Court on April 28, while issuing an order citing Section 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure (1908), said that 11 petitions of those who were asked to prove their citizenship again The settlement held that a person who has once been declared as an Indian citizen in a foreign tribunal proceedings cannot be asked by the FT to prove his citizenship again as the principle of res judicata is applicable to these courts. it happens.
There are 100 tribunals functioning in Assam. Initially, 11 Illegal Migrants Determination Tribunals (IMDT) were functioning.
In March, a foreigners’ tribunal in Assam’s Cachar district served notice to a deceased man, asking him to appear before it by March 30 as he had failed to produce valid documents to prove his Indian citizenship.
The notice was given to one Shyaman Charan Das, who lived in Thaligram village in Udharbond area. He died in May 2016. A case was registered against Das in 2015, but when he passed away in May 2016, his family submitted the death certificate, after which the case was closed in September that year.