Pre-1971 Bangladeshi settlers in Meghalaya are Indian nationals and hence, entitled to vote

Meghalaya High Court: While considering the issue of seized citizenship certificates and non-enrollment in Election Roll of 40 residents of Ri Bhoi District of Meghalaya, S.R. Sen J. in an oral judgment held that the petitioners are Indian nationals as their fore-fathers settled in India long before the 1971 Bangladesh war and subsequent partition, and denied the need of their deportation to Bangladesh. The Court relied upon the affidavits produced by the State of Meghalaya and Union of India to infer the ‘common understanding between India and Bangladesh’ to deport only post-1971 settlers to Bangladesh and ordered the Deputy Commissioner to return the seized citizenship certificates and enroll the names of aggrieved petitioners in the Election Roll before next elections besides, Court also emphasized upon the duty of State and Union Governments to provide them proper rehabilitation.Nityananda Malik v. State of Meghalaya; WP(C) No. 235 of 2010, Decided on May 15, 2014


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