While considering plea of a woman who is to be deported having being found that she is an ‘illegal migrant’, the Supreme Court has posed three questions to the Assam state government:
Musstt. Sofiya Khatun had approached the apex court after her challenge against the Barpeta Foreigners’ Tribunal order that had declared her a foreigner who had illegally entered into India (Assam) after 25.03.1971.
The bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul has posted the matter on 5th September.
The Foreigners’ Tribunal had rejected Sofiya’s claim on the ground that her parents’ and grandfather’s name is different in every exhibit she had produced. It was also noted that she did not file any petition before the authority concerned for the correction of the name of his father, mother and grandfather.
While dismissing the writ petition challenging this order, the Gauhati High Court upheld the tribunal order, and further noted non-disclosure of date or year of birth.
It observed: “From the written statement, it is evident that petitioner did not disclose about her date or year of birth. She also did not disclose about her place of birth. Grandmother’s name, as well as names of maternal grandfather and grandmother, were not disclosed. She also did not disclose about the names of her brothers’ and sisters’ as well as the date or year of her marriage. Moreover, she was silent regarding her children after her marriage to Fulbar Hussain. Thus, there was an omission to mention the above which were material facts specifically within her knowledge. It is essential that when one’s nationality is questioned, such material facts are required to be placed on record by the questioned individual at the first instance itself i.e., in the written statement. Failure to do so would be a vital omission rendering the version of the proceedee highly questionable. She repeated the same thing in her evidence-in-chief by way of affidavit wherein, however, she disclosed her age as 47 years as on 25.07.2016 when the affidavit was sworn. This would mean that the petitioner was born sometime in the year 1969.”
It seems that neither the tribunal nor the high court pondered about the claim that her parents, brothers, and husband are citizens of India.