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'Hukou' scam alleged over ID lawsuit

By Jasmine Zhao (Shanghai Daily)

08:26, October 17, 2012

A COLLEGE student who claimed his brother stole his identity card and residential permit to marry and divorce a woman has filed a lawsuit against the city's Hongkou District civil affairs bureau and demanded revocation of the marriage record.

The Hongkou District People's Court heard the case yesterday but the plaintiff, named Chen Ping, his brother Chen Jinlong and the woman, surnamed Zhu, didn't appear in court.

Chen Ping, a sophomore at a local university, filed the lawsuit after he discovered that his elder brother had used his ID card and residential permit to marry Zhu on May 12, the day when Chen Ping turned 22 - the minimum marriage age set by law. But they soon divorced on August 11.

Chen Ping said his brother was five years older than him and their appearances did not match. The plaintiff asked the civil affairs bureau to revoke the marriage record, claiming that the bureau had made errors in reviewing and approving the application materials.

The bureau argued that it had reviewed the materials very carefully and the photo on the ID card was "basically the same" as the real person.

"If Chen Ping's claims were true, why didn't Chen Jinlong use the real permit to marry Zhu?" the lawyer representing the bureau asked.

"Chances are that the Chen family ganged up to cheat the bureau in order to acquire a Shanghai hukou (or permanent residential permit) for Chen Jinlong's illegitimate child," the lawyer further alleged.

According to the transcript of a conversation between Chen Jinlong and the judge, the former claimed that he was already married so he had used his younger brother's ID card to marry Zhu, his mistress and an out-of-towner.

The court heard that a child was born to Chen Jinlong and Zhu on March 26. The baby got a Shanghai hukou during the three months when Chen Ping and Zhu were legally married.

The court didn't issue any ruling yesterday.

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