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Calcutta High Court Halts Aadhaar Deactivation of Woman and Family Accused of Bangladeshi Citizenship

In a significant decision, the Calcutta High Court has issued a stay order against the Union Home Ministry’s decision to deactivate the Aadhaar cards of a woman and her family members who were accused of being Bangladeshi nationals. The court emphasized that the authorities did not adhere to the required procedures mandated under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and the regulations governing Aadhaar cards when revoking an individual’s Indian citizenship.

Procedural Lapses

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, a single-judge, pointed out that before any formal inquiry or adjudication takes place, the respondent authorities cannot strip the petitioner woman and her family of their basic rights as Indian citizens. The court noted that, despite allegations made by the woman’s husband in criminal proceedings, the woman had provided numerous documents during her Aadhaar enrollment, indicating her Indian citizenship.

Burden of Proof

The court underlined that it was the petitioner’s husband’s responsibility to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she and her family were Bangladeshi citizens at the time when the documents, including Aadhaar cards, were issued.

Stay Order

The court ruled that the deactivation of Aadhaar cards and all consequential actions taken by the authorities would remain stayed during the pendency of the writ petition. However, it clarified that authorities were not prevented from proceeding based on the communication challenged in the writ petition, provided they followed due legal procedures.

Next Hearing

The matter is scheduled for further hearing on December 5.

Legal Representatives

Advocates representing the petitioners included Kallol Basu, Shibaji Kumar Das, Ahshan Ahmed, Samik Sarkar, Rupsa Sreemani, Atreya Chakrabarti, and Swapnamoy Sarkar. Additional Solicitor General Ashok Kumar Chakrabarti, along with Advocate Susmita Saha Dutta, represented the Union Government, while Advocate Anuran Samanta represented the Election Commission of India.


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