Assam: SC provides relief to 50 lakh women; says panchayat certificate is proof of citizenship

By Siddhant Mohan,

In a big relief to nearly 50 lakh women in Assam who were fearing deportation after their citizenship had been questioned, the Supreme Court stated that verified certificates issued by local Gram Panchayat bodies can be used as a proof of citizenship in Assam.

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In doing so, the Supreme Court bench overturned the order of Guwahati High Court where the HC had ruled out the Panchayat certificates fit for National Register of Citizens.

The decision on Tuesday follows a number of petitions challenging the Guwahati High Court’s order. The leading petition in the matter was filed by 40-year-old Monowara Bewa, a resident of Dhubri district of Assam who was marked as D-voter by the local election body.

Another petition was by Rukhsana Begum, which had many other parties. Leading Islamic body Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind provided resources and help to these petitioners for the case.

Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, Maulana Mahmood Madani and Tariq Qasmi were present in the courtroom on Tuesday when the judgement was delivered.

Maulana Badruddin Ajmal told on phone, “We knew these 48 lakh women of Assam will get justice, and our faith and Indian judiciary and constitution has not gone in vain.”

In its judgement on Tuesday, Supreme Court also rejected the division of citizens done by Assam government, where the later divided the citizens among “Original” and “Non-original” categories creating a controversy across the state.

The story shall be updated once the court order is available.