GUWAHATI, March 11 � The Gauhati High Court by an order today directed the Election Commission of India to find out the number of cases pending in various Foreigners� Tribunals in Assam and also to collect the identity of the persons whether they are shown as �D� voters or not, which will ensure that such doubtful citizens do not cast their votes in the election. The court further directed to ensure indication of such suspected foreigners as �D� voters in the electoral rolls debarring them from voting.
Justice BK Sharma, earlier on March 8, issued a direction to the Election Commission to ensure that the foreigners are not permitted to cast their votes in the ensuing election in the State. Further, in pursuant to the said order of March 8, the Election Commission has also filed an affidavit stating interalia that the Election Commission of. India had clearly stipulated in its order of January 5, 1998 that persons against whose names the letter �D� has been marked in the electoral rolls to denote that the citizenship status of such person is doubtful/disputed shall not be allowed to cast their votes and shall also be ineligible to contest any election as long as the citizenship status of such persons is not determined in their favour by the Appropriate Tribunal to whom their cases have been referred.
During the course of hearing, the counsel appearing for the Election Commission has submitted that persons whose cases are under reference in various Tribunals throughout the State are indicated as �D� voters in the electoral rolls and the said persons are not entitled to cast their votes. But the court observed that instances are at galore when such persons after being declared as foreigners by the Foreigners� Tribunals by invoking the writ jurisdiction of the court, place reliance on the electoral rolls incorporating their names without any indication as to whether they are �D� voters or not. In some cases, the person concerned could even obtain passport during the pendency of the proceeding on the basis of the voter list produced by him before the appropriate authority.
The case is fixed for further hearing on March 23.