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A magistrate court in Maharashtra held that original election cards are proof of citizenship this week while acquitting a couple arrested in 2017 on suspicion of being illegal Bangladeshi nationals living in India.

The court held a birth certificate, a domicile certificate, a bona fide certificate and a passport can be relied upon to establish the origin of any person.

“Even the election card can be said to be sufficient proof of citizenship as while applying for the election card or a voting card, a person has to file a declaration with the authority in view of Form 6 of Peoples Representation Act to the authority that he is a citizen of India and if the declaration is found false, he is liable for punishment,” the court said.

The court also said that the documents submitted by the accused, Abbas Shaikh (45) and Rabiya Shaikh (40), were not rebutted by the prosecution or proven to be fake.

The court, however, clarified that Aadhaar card, PAN card, driving licence or ration card cannot be termed as the documents of proving citizenship.

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