The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Friday ordered the conditional release of one Amir Shaikh – some 20 months after he was detained on the suspicion of being a Bangladeshi.
The court's order came following a petition moved by the 38-year-old's mother asserting that her son is an Indian citizen, reports The Times of India.
In June 2020, special operations group (SOG) officials detained Amir, a resident of the neighbouring country's Chandola slums, from his workplace near the Octroi Naka on the suspicion that he is a Bangladeshi citizen.
Rasidaben, his mother, filed a habeas corpus petition with the HC claiming that her family, which had been affected in the 2002 riots, had been settled in this part of Ahmedabad under a government rehabilitation scheme.
She claimed that the state government in 2010, upon the HC's order, had decided to rehabilitate families who were identified as Indian nationals and who suffered during the 2002 riots.
She presented documents – aadhaar card, election card, and ration card – of her son to prove that her son was indeed an Indian citizen.
Rasidaben stated that her son, like her other children, had been born and brought up in Ahmedabad.
Opposing Rasidaben's plea seeking the release of her son, the SOG asserted its stand that Amir had not been able to establish his Indian citizenship.
The HC sought more documents and ordered their verification.
The petitioner mother filed affidavits in the HC and said, "I am as much a citizen of India as the rest of the citizenry, and so is my detained son. When my husband and I are citizens of India, questioning the origin of my child is out of the question."
She told the court that she and her husband, Sidikbhai, are from different districts in West Bengal and they had migrated to Ahmedabad in 1965.
Their children were born in Ahmedabad, and Amir is their second child, she stated.
Her advocate, Anand Yagnik, submitted that Amir was 36 years of age when detained.
His identification cards show that he was born in 1984. According to Section 3 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, every person born in India on or after 26 January, 1950 but before 1 July, 1987, shall be a citizen by birth.
Since Amir was born before 1987, he is an Indian citizen by birth.
Moreover, since the parents of the detained person were Indian citizens at the time of Amir's birth, he acquired citizenship by descent and according to the law.