A review is permissible only for correction of any error apparent on the face of the record and/or for the ends of justice: HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI

The Review Petition No. 6 of 2022 is directed against the judgment and order passed in Writ Petition No. 3959 of 2020 which was made by the present review petitioner. THE HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI in the case of FARIZ @ FARIJ ALI v/s THE UNION OF INDIA & ORS. finds no error or has no correction to be made for the review to be permissible to meet the ends of justice.

The facts of the case are that a reference was made against the review petitioner by the Superintendent of Police (Border), Barpeta under the erstwhile IM(D)T Act vide reference No. IM(D)T No. 10787/98, expressing doubt about the nationality of the opposite party i.e. review petitioner herein to decide as to whether the opposite party/review petitioner is or is not an illegal migrant. After the IMDT Act was struck down by the Supreme Court, the reference was assigned to Foreigners Tribunal No. 6, Barpeta. In terms of the reference, the Foreigner’s Tribunal No. 6, Barpeta registered a case being F.T. Case No. 23/16. Notices were served upon the review petitioner. The matter was contested by the review petitioner by filing written statements and by adducing evidence. By order dated 17.01.2019, the Foreigner’s Tribunal, Barpeta rendered its opinion answering the reference in affirmative and holding the opposite party/review petitioner to be a foreigner/illegal migrant who had entered into Assam on or after 25.03.1971.

Being aggrieved, the review petitioner approached this Court assailing the opinion dated 17.01.2019 passed by the Foreigners Tribunal. The writ petition being WP(C) No. 3959/2020 came to be dismissed vide Judgment and Order dated 09.10.2020 against which the review petitioner has filed the present review petition seeking review of the Judgment and Order dated 09.10.2020.

There were two witnesses who adduced evidence in support of the petitioner, in the written statement the opposite party/review petitioner stated that he was born at village Baghmarachar under Baghbar Mouza. It was stated that his father’s name was Janiruddin and his name appeared in the voter’s list of 1970 under 52 no. Baghbar LAC. It was also stated that his brother, namely, Abdul Barek’s name appeared in the Voter’s List of 1985 and 1989 under 45 no. Baghbar LAC. It was stated that the opposite party/review petitioner’s name was entered in the voter’s list for the years 1989 and 1997.

The Foreigners Tribunal held that in the written statements there was no disclosure in respect of the relatives and siblings or his mother’s name. There was no disclosure as to the place of birth of his parents and other details. The Tribunal held that these were material facts within the knowledge of the opposite party/review petitioner and since the written statement is the basic statement of defense, it was necessary for the opposite party/review petitioner to disclose all the relevant materials in respect of his citizenship in the written statement. It was held that failure to disclose material facts will incur drawing adverse inference against the opposite party. The Tribunal, therefore, answered the reference in affirmative holding the opposite party to be a foreigner/illegal migrant who had entered Assam on or before 25.03.1971, and the reference was accordingly answered in affirmative.

Aggrieved by the opinion rendered, the writ petition was filed assailing the opinion rendered by the Foreigners Tribunal. The matter was heard. The Tribunal records called for were duly examined and on the discussions made in the order under review, the writ petition was dismissed.

The Hon’ble high court finds no error in the writ petition nor any error was pointed out by the petitioner. It appears to the court that the petitioner has sought a fresh hearing of the matter in disguise of a review. The court finds no merit in the review petition and therefore dismisses it.

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Written by – Apeksha Khandelwal, legal assistant.

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