The Gauhati High Court on Friday granted interim bail to retired Indian Army officer Mohammad Sanaullah, lodged in a detention camp after Assam foreigners' tribunal adjudged him a "non-citizen", according to media reports.
The development came after the war veteran's family approached the high court last week. Sanaullah fought in the 1999 Kargil war.
ANI quoted his lawyer Aman Wadud as saying that his release was approved with a condition of Rs 20,000 bail bond. The court also issued notices to the Centre and authorities of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Lawyer of retd Army Officer Md Sanaullah, who was declared foreigner&detained by police in Assam: Guwahati HC passed order of interim bail. He'll be released from detention center with a condition of Rs 20000 bail bond,2 local sureties&his bio-metrics will be taken before release pic.twitter.com/Th4z6LrahS
— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2019
He also expressed confidence of winning the case and said, “We are confident we will win...The biggest point is that the investigating officer himself said that he never investigated or inquired him. We have made him a party (in the case). The case doesn't stand because he was never investigated. Border police had filed a false case against him.”
A resident of Kolohikash village in Boko area of Kamrup district in Assam, Sanaullah was serving as a sub-inspector in the Assam border police before being declared a "foreigner" on 23 May and dismissed from service.
His family had earlier alleged that the issue was a result of a conspiracy. "This is a conspiracy hatched by some border police personnel. They submitted false information about him that he was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and also that he doesn't know how to read and works as a labourer," Mohammad Azmal Haq, a retired army officer and a relative of Sanaullah, was quoted as saying by ANI.
Sanaullah's wife Salima Begum had said, "Despite working for 30 years in the army and six to seven months in the border police, my husband has been declared as a foreigner.... His name was not there in the NRC (National Register of Citizens) last year." As per reports, the case against the officer has been going on since 2008.
Senior advocate Indira Jaisingh, who appeared for Sanaullah before the high court, tweeted after news broke about his release order.
Fantastic news Courts to the rescue of Army veteran who served India for thirty years and was then declared a “foreigner “, at moments like this proud to be a lawyer ,proud of our courts https://t.co/u5aDDhkFyd — indira jaising (@IJaising) June 7, 2019
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi had written to Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday, seeking justice for Sanaullah.
On Tuesday, Gaurav's father and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had also said the state government should move court to ensure relief for Sanaullah as he was an employee of the Assam border police when the judgment was passed by the foreigners' tribunal.
In 2018, Assam had released the "complete draft" of NRC, leaving out names of 40.07 lakh applicants, including that of Sanaullah. The final NRC is slated for release by 31 July.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jun 07, 2019 19:04:37 IST