In the past few years, we have witnessed the activities of illegal migration of people from Assam. There have been many cases arising out of illegal migration from the Northeastern states of India. The issue again has gained the limelight through a recent case filed in the Supreme Court by Musstt. Sofiya Khatun, challenging the order of the Barpeta Foreigners’ Tribunal which has declared her a foreigner stating that she has illegally entered into India after the period of 25.03.1971. The Court has raised questions before the State Government asking whether:
- Is it true that the five brothers of the petitioner are Citizens of India?
- Is it true that the husband of the petitioner is a citizen of India?
- Is it true that the father and mother of the petitioner are citizens of India?
These issues came when the matter was placed before the bench of Gauhati High Court through Writ Petition. The court also refused the claims of the petitioner by upholding the order issued by the Foreigners’ Tribunal which clearly stated that the petitioner was an illegal migrant. Some major facts of the case are:
Through the written Statement filed by the petitioner, it was clear that her age was not mentioned. There was no disclosure of her place of birth as well. The question of her nationality arose when she remained silent on the names and of her brothers, sisters and even about her marriage to Fulbar Hussain. What comes as a concern is that the age mentioned by her in the affidavit was 47 years as on 25.07.2016, which directs her year of birth as 1969.
It was observed, in the exhibits produced by her in support of her claim to be an Indian Citizen, the names of her father and grandfather are different. She never filed any complaint before the concerned authorities regarding the same and continued remaining silent on the name of her parents’ and grandparents’ as well.
Now, the question here arises, even after seeing so many defects from the side of petitioner only, how can she claim on issues regarding her nationality. Further, the matter has been placed for next hearing before the bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on 5th September 2018. Also, the counsel of the petitioner is directed to produce the copies of documents that could support in proving her claim.
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