Jalandhar:In the ongoing dual citizenship row of senior Congress leader Avtar Singh Henry, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) of Jalandhar North assembly segment cum Regional Deputy Director, local bodies, Barjinder Singh on Thursday deleted Henry’s vote, hence bringing his political aspirations to an abrupt halt.
Now, Henry was is more an Indian citizen, according to the orders issued by the ERO.
Henry was eyeing the Jalandhar North assembly segment but in the wake of the dual citizenship row, he was preparing ground for his son Avtar junior Henry. “Avtar Singh Henry’s vote was deleted,” said ERO Barjinder Singh.
In its orders, the ERO Barjinder Singh stated that the Central government in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Section (9) 2 of the Citizenship Act 1955 and rules determined that Avtar Henry ceased to be a citizen of India from the date he acquired British citizenship and Passport in 1969. He was at liberty to re-acquire Indian citizenship according to the due process of law, the orders mentioned.
According to the legal opinion, on the basis of his passport, Henry has staked his right for the registration as a voter in the Republic of India under the Representation of The People’s Act, 1950.
Notably, as many as four complaints were pending against Henry filed by an RTI activist Ajay Sehgal in a special NRI Court. Henry was in possession of two different passports.
It is pertinent to mention here that in 2009, Henry’s son Gurjit Singh Sanghera had alleged that his father held a British passport and hid this fact from the authorities concerned.
In 2012, the Central government had stated that Henry was not an Indian citizen from 1981, when the records were available with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Henry had acquired an Indian passport in 2004, after which he was holding two passports with him.
RTI Activist Ajay Sehgal had moved an application mentioning additional offences and framing charges under Section 5 of the Foreigners Act and sought action under Sections 12, 12-A of Passport Act Sections 181, 182, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC and Official Secrecy Act.
In his complaint, Sehgal had mentioned that Henry had changed his name, father’s name, date and place of birth after getting British citizenship and also got made a new Indian passport without revealing that he was a British national. Later, Sehgal had moved Punjab and Haryana High Court in this case, as Henry contested elections based on wrong personal details.
Notably, the then Commissioner of Police Gaurav Yadav conducted an inquiry and the case was filed in the district court. Finally the case was shifted to Special NRI court in 2014.