Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has suggested the central government to consider if it would be possible to include nationality column in birth and death certificates again, but specify that it cannot be used as a proof.
The suggestion was made by a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha while hearing a public interest litigation challenging the deletion of the nationality column from birth and death certificates.
"Even if it (certificates) cannot be used as a final document of proof you (government) can have a column `Nationality as declared by Applicant`," Chief Justice Shah said yesterday.
The court was also irked when it was informed that the Union government is yet to take instructions from the concerned department.
Union government lawyer Advait Sethna informed the court that the registrar general (census operations) would be the concerned department to take instructions.
"Notice was issued to the Union government last year. You have taken one year to identify which department is concerned in this matter," the court said while granting the government time till September 29 to respond to the PIL.
A social worker, Shahajirao Thorat, approached the High Court challenging an order passed by the government on April 20, 2000, deleting the column of nationality from birth and death certificates.
The certificates are issued under section 12 and 17 of The Registration of Birth and Death Act. However, the nationality and permanent address column from the certificates was deleted from 2000.
The government, while deleting the column, had said birth and death certificates, used as proof for address, were being misused.
The PIL sought direction to the government to include nationality column in birth and death certificates.