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Explained: The link between Indian citizenship and the voter identification card

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New Delhi, Feb 25: A Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court recently ruled that a voter identification card was not conclusive proof of citizenship.

Earlier this month, a magistrate's court in Mumbai held hat an election card is sufficient proof of citizenship. The court also acquitted two individuals who the police had accused of being Bangladeshi infiltrators.

Explained: The link between Indian citizenship and the voter identification card

The Gauhati HC had relied on the Babul Islam vs State of Assam case, in which it was said that the Electoral Photo Identity Card is not proof of citizenship. The position taken by the Mumbai court is similar to the one by the Election Commission of India.

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One Roshan Shah, a Canadian national, originally from Gujarat tried to stand for elections in India. In 2015, the Election Commission of India amended Forms 2A and 2H to underline the direct link between citizenship of a person and the electoral system.

A year later the EC issued a notification making provisions to furnish the photo of a candidate with the nomination form. It was also notified that a form shall be filled declaring the citizenship of the candidate.

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Further Form 6 of the Registration of Electors's Rules, 1960, under the Representation of People Act, 1951 has a declaration on citizenship from the voter in line with the Constitution. If a voter declares that he or she is a citizen of India, this is accepted by the registration authority. This goes on to establish the direct link between being a citizen and having a right to vote.

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