GUWAHATI, June 28 - The whole system of issuing important certificates in Assam is badly flawed and certificates have been issued without proper verification over the years, which enabled doubtful citizens to obtain the same with fraudulent means. This disturbing fact came to light during the process of verification of family trees of the persons who applied for inclusion of names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as well as the certificates issued by the secretaries of the panchayats.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that �substantial number� of fake or forged documents were detected during the verifying process and it was found that even foreign nationals managed to obtain voters� identity cards because of the faulty system. However, the verification of the linkages and family trees of the applicants was the game changer and a large number of such fraudulent means adopted by the persons who are not eligible to be included in the NRC came to light. �Fortunately, the process of updating of the NRC was not carried out only on the basis of the documents produced by the applicants and the family linkages were checked. That is why, such a large number of irregularities could be detected,� sources added. Sources, however, refused to divulge the number of such fake or forged documents detected so far and said that the process of compilation is still on and the exact figure would come out only after the publication of the final draft of the NRC.
As the NRC of 1951 and the voters� lists up to 1971 were made available in public domain, unscrupulous persons tried to use names which appeared in those documents claiming that those persons were their parents. A large number of such incidents came to light during the family tree verification and the persons whose names were used or their sons and daughters were unaware of the fact that their family linkages were used by others. There was one interesting instance where one person used a person�s name as that of his father and claimed that his father died. But during the hearings of the family tree verification, the man who was supposed to be dead, appeared before the verifying officer and the whole game was exposed. This is only one such example and a large number of cases of people fraudulently using names of unknown persons as their parents were detected.
Another interesting example was of a lady, who was declared as a foreigner in Morigaon. She managed to get her name included in the voters� list by using a different name and submitted a voters� identity card as proof of her citizenship for inclusion of name in the NRC. But she was caught in the act. There were several other cases where persons declared as foreigners by the Tribunals managed to change names and got voters� identity cards, which proved that proper checks were not carried out while including names in the voters� lists.
In one such interesting case, a family produced a certificate issued by a district committee of Jamiat with house number, names, etc., of the persons, whose names appeared in the NRC of 1951. The document looks quite genuine but when checked with the original NRC of 1951, it was found that the house number, village name, etc., were all correct. But the certificate contained 11 names compared to 10 in the original NRC, which proved that one name was fraudulently added.
The verification process proved that the process of issuing birth certificates was flawed and in several cases, it was found that such certificates were issued without proper verification. Same is the case with the ration cards and a large number of doubtful citizens managed to obtain ration cards by taking advantage of the flaws in the system. Similarly, the gaonburhas and panchayat secretaries issued certificates without knowing the persons. While checking the authenticity of the certificates issued by the panchayat secretaries to married women, efforts were made to check the linkage of the women concerned with their parents and in the process , a substantial number of irregularities were detected. It was also found that substantial number of persons submitted affidavits claiming that they changed names and there were instances where persons declared as foreigners or doubtful voters tried to change names through affidavits to get names in the NRC. A good number of such cases were also detected.
A large number of fake school certificates were also detected during the process of verification and some people even produced certificates of schools which do not even exist. There were also instances of boys� schools issuing certificates to girls and vice versa. All such irregularities could be detected only because of thorough check of the documents and family tree verification during the process of updating the NRC, sources pointed out.