One-man committee submits report on re-verification of SSC and CoI

Gangtok, 27 Sept:

The One Man Committee set up to examine the re-verification and digitalisation of Sikkim Subject Certificate and Certificate of Identification submitted its report to the Government on 01 Sept, earlier this month and is awaiting the government’s response on the report.

Justice (Rtd) Maloy Sengupta, former judge, High Court of Sikkim, was appointed by the government to examine the 31,180 doubtful cases of falsification of Sikkim Subject Certificate and Certification of Identification as well as issuance of Certificate of Identification in the smart card format which would contain all necessary details for instant verification.

The state government had issued a notification on 04 Sept last year constituting a Committee headed by Justice Maloi Sengupta, Tsegyal Tashi [Secretary, Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department], Jagat Bahadur Rai [SSJS, the then Law Remembrance cum Secretary, Law Department] as Member Secretary of the seven-member committee, along with former Secretaries, Dup Tshering Lepcha, LM Pradhan, TN Kazi, and MB Gurung.

The committee was directed to examine the issue of falsification of CoI and Sikkim Subject Certificate and to make recommendations on issuance and digitalisation of COI in smart card format containing the relevant information.

The court, on various occasions, had observed that there should be a clear identification in digitalisation to identify the descendants of Sikkim Subject holders having CoI, CoI made from the land records, issues related to 72000 citizenship issued in 1989 with concurrence of Government of India and people residing in Sikkim after 1975 for specific purposes.

Biraj Adhikari, the then president of Sikkim National People’s party [SNPP], filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking court direction for investigation of doubtful cases of 31,181 falsification of CoI in 2015.

The State Government in its report in Sept 2017 had said that out of 31,188 cases, 15,788 cases were reported ‘Minor” & “Not Obtained” which requires no verification adding that the Department has not received 11,152 cases from the district offices which says that ‘Record not Received from the District Offices’ [East-7019, West-1172, South-2695 and North-266].

The Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department had issued an Appeal in the year 2010 that Pink Cards were to be issued to genuine Sikkim Subject Holders, because it was in the knowledge of Government that 31,180 cases of falsely acquired citizenship documents had been reported.

The petitioner, Mr Adhikari, had alleged that even after knowing about the 31,180 reported false cases of Sikkim Subject Certificates and Certificate of Identification, the Government did nothing and the persons holding such certificates are taking illegal benefits thereof. The Division Bench also directed the petitioner to submit the list of benefits taken by Sikkim Subject holders and Certificate of Identification holders and other people who do not possess such certificate.

It may be mentioned here that Biraj Adhikari and his party workers had filed a complaint in the Sadar Thana in Gangtok in 2010 on the issue. The police had said in their RTI response, that only the District Collector is competent to register such complaints. Later they also filed complaints with the District Collector but got no response, according to Mr Adhikari.

Amicus Curiae appointed to assist the Court, Jorgay Namkha, had also submitted its report after the court ordered the court constituted committee to examine the cases of falsely acquired SSC & COI.