GUWAHATI, July 30 - At a time when the updating process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is under way, a flourishing racket in fake birth certificates involving the government machinery has cast a shadow over the prospects of preparing a foolproof NRC.
Shockingly, the authorities concerned, including the police are taking a lenient view of the disturbing development, as no �discernible action� has been taken against the culprits running the racket.
Blowing the lid off a thriving fake birth certificate racket in Dhubri district, the Gauhati High Court on Wednesday directed the NRC updating authorities to treat the matter seriously and not give indulgence to such fake certificates while preparing the NRC.
The High Court also directed the Assam DGP and the Commissioner and Secretary, State Home and Political Department, to respond to the proceedings �with an appropriate action plan in such a serious matter.�
The disturbing developments came to the fore when a writ petition filed by Md Nazrul Hoque of South Salmara in Dhubri district challenging a Foreigners Tribunal order declaring the petitioner as a foreigner came up before the High Court.
The High Court got suspicious about the birth certificate furnished by the petitioner which was issued by Gozarikandi PHC some 31 years after his birth (April 28, 1981). The court sought a report from the Registrar of Birth & Death of the PHC as a respondent, and his report stated the birth certificate to be a fake one, signed by the then dealing assistant, Anowar Hussain.
Justice BK Sharma, while hearing a writ petition (WP-C-No. 3660/2015), observed that as per report received from the Sub-divisional Medical and Health Officer (SDM&HO)-cum-Registrar of Birth & Death of Gazarikandi Block Public Health Centre, Dhubri, �hundreds of such fake birth certificates have been issued with the connivance of Anowar Hussain (a UD assistant) who is currently absconding and not attending office.�
The High Court also took exception to the fact that following the revelations of forged fake certificates, the Joint Director of Health Services-cum-Additional District Registrar of Birth & Death, Dhubri, simply ordered for withdrawal of Anowar Hussain from dealing with birth and death certificates without taking any further action against him.
The High Court also observed that although Dr Md. Shirazul Islam, Sub-divisional Medical and Health Officer (SDM&HO)-cum-Registrar of Birth & Death of Gazarikandi Block Public Health Centre had filed an FIR with Mankachar police station on May 2, 2015, and also appraised the matter to the SP, South Salmara Police District, �their action in the matter is not discernible.�
The High Court also directed the SP (B), Dhubri and the officer-in-charge, South Salmara Police Station, to take the petitioner into police custody immediately for his detention in detention camp, as he is already a declared foreigner who took recourse to forgery to establish himself as an Indian citizen.
The High Court also appreciated the role of Dr Islam in exposing the fraud.