Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday said that Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Aloe Rani Sarkar, who failed to contest the Bongao South Assembly seat in 2021, had filed a petition challenging Sarkar’s election as a citizen of Bangladesh.
During a series of hearings that ended on May 13, the defendant’s lawyer, Swapan Majumdar of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which won about 2,000 seats, told the court that Sarkar’s application should be rejected because he was Bangladeshi and India. Dual citizenship is not allowed.
Defendant asserts that the petitioner’s husband, Dr. Harendra Nath Sarkar, is a well-known medical professor at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barisal, Bangladesh.
In support of his argument, the defendant filed a copy of the Bangladesh National Identity Card (No. 7307645577) in the applicant’s name. This has shown her to be an honest voter in the Barisal district.
After announcing the election results on May 2, 2021, Aloe Queen Sarkar filed an application.
The court ordered an investigation to establish her nationality and reports were heard from several departments in Bangladesh.
Born in Hooghly district of Bengal in 1969, he became a citizen of Bangladesh after marrying Dr Harendra Nath Sarkar in 1980 but left India due to marital disagreement, Sarkar’s lawyers claimed in court.
She filed her name “incorrectly” on the Bangladeshi voter list in 2012, and it came to her notice in 2020 when she asked the Secretary of the Election Commission in Dhaka to delete it, the lawyer said.
An investigation of the Calcutta High Court order, however, found that Sarkar was a citizen of Bangladesh from birth and the judges made strong observations in reference to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
“These documents do not prove the citizenship of this country, even if the applicant has a voter ID card, Aadhaar card and passport. The applicant does not need to say that he has been a citizen of this country since he was born. But it is confirmed that her parents lived in Bangladesh and she came to India with her uncle in her childhood, from the hearing report she relied on in the written objection against the petition under Order VII Rule 11 (d) of the CPC. The applicant was born in Bangladesh, ”said HT.
“It is not clear at this date whether her name has been deleted from the voter list in Bangladesh. Applicants have not acquired citizenship under Section 3 or 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. ) Act, 2019, ”the order said.
“The Election Commission has reviewed their nomination papers. She was declared eligible to be selected to fill that position. The judge wrote that under the provisions of the Constitution and the People’s Representation Act, 1951, the court would not disqualify her from trial under Section 16 of the 1950 Act.
The order further states: “It is not necessary to say that the passport, voter ID card, PAN card and Aadhaar card are not Indian citizenship documents. If a person claims the citizenship of this court, he / she must prove his citizenship under Part-II of the Constitution of India. Article 9 of the Constitution states that if a person voluntarily acquires the citizenship of any foreign state, he shall not be a citizen of India by force of Article 5 nor shall he be considered a citizen of India by Article 6 or Article 8. ”
“……. it is clear that the applicant is a Bangladeshi citizen on the date of filing of nomination and the date of election and declaration of result,” the judge said.
“From the face of the applicant’s own record, it appears that the applicant has no right to contest the 2021 Assembly elections. The order said.
No TMC leaders have commented on the court order. Despite many attempts, Sarkar could not be contacted.