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BJP MLA Kishore Nath cleared of being a ‘D’ voter

Special Correspondent
Silchar, June 7: BJP MLA from Borkhola constituency, Kishore Nath, and his 4 brothers as well as his wife Nilima Nath and sister in law Rakhi Nath, wife of Jagadish Nath, have been absolved of being ‘D’ voters by the Foreigners’ Tribunal 1st, Silchar. The case in brief is that the SP (Border) referred the case for adjudication on the allegation that Kishore Nath, his 4 brothers Jagadish Nath, Manik Nath, Motilal Nath and Pradip Nath, his wife Nilima Nath and sister in law Rakhi Nath, have illegally entered India after March 25, 1971. The names of five brothers and Nilima Nath and Rakhi Nath found place in the electoral roll published on July 24, 1997 which was doubted by the electoral registration officer.

The draft was put for verification as the citizenship of members of Nath family was under cloud. During the house to house enumeration, they were unavailable. Hence, the local verification officer submitted his report before the electoral registration officer. This raised doubt in the mind of ERO who forwarded the matter to the SP Cachar, competent authority, under IM (DT) Act of 1983, Foreigners’ Act of 1946 and Rules made there under. The SP Cachar then referred the cases to the then IM (DT) for its opinion.

After the quashing of IM (DT) Act of 1983 by the Supreme Court of India, the matter was referred to the Foreigners’ Tribunal for its opinion. The Tribunal found prima facie that there is sufficient ground for proceeding. After being served with notices, all the members of Nath family appeared through their learned counsel. After evidence and cross examination of documents, it was established that the father of the Nath brothers, Promesh Chandra Nath, now deceased, was a bonafide citizen of India. Since all the five cases were amalgamated on the petitions of the brothers, the cases were heard one by one. The case of Nilima Nath and Rakhi Nath was heard separately.

The Tribunal perused the documents filed by Kishore Nath and his 4 brothers and found that Promesh Chandra Nath and their grandfather Padma Lochan Nath were the permanent residents of village Dudhpatil Part V even before the independence of the country. It is also established that Promesh Chandra Nath is a resident of Cachar district since 1944. He is also a bonafide voter of 1961, 1966 and 1997. So being sons of an Indian national, Kishore Nath and his brothers cannot be held as post March 25, 1971 migrated foreigners of the specified country.

In the case of Nilima Nath (Singha), it is found that her father Dewan Singha is a bonafide citizen of India, a permanent resident of village Ramnagar near Silchar since 1955. In regard to Rakhi Nath, it has been substantiated by various related documents that her father Rama Ranjan Nath, a permanent resident of Karimganj and a railway employee under Indian Railways was a bonafide voter for the year 1966. So being the daughter of an Indian national, she cannot be held as a foreigner or ‘D’ voter. The amalgamated cases came up for hearing before Dulal Saha, Member, Foreigners’ Tribunal 1st, Silchar. The learned counsel Santanu Nayak, advocate, appeared for the opposite parties while the state was represented by P Bhattacharjee, AGP. Elated with the judgement, Kishore Nath along with his counsel Santanu Nayak and Kaushik Rai, BJP Cachar district president, held a press-meet in the Circuit House, to share the contents of the judgement delivered by the Foreigners’ Tribunal.

About the author

Ankur Kalita