- NET Web Desk
The Gauhati High Court (HC) has detected breaches in three Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs), which have erroneously declared individuals as foreigners despite having valid documents.
FTs are quasi-judicial bodies established as per the Foreigners’ Tribunal Order, 1964 and the Foreigners’ Act, 1946.
According to The Hindu report, such concerned orders were found to be incomplete, or been forwarded to wrong addresses.
In November, the court asserted that a woman identified as Puspharani Dhar has been severely harassed since 2000, after an FT in Bongaigaon district served her a notice regarding the same.
Declared a foreigner in 2017, the HC after clear examination found that the lady had enough documents to prove her point and citizenship.
‘I could have been saved the harassment had the FT examined the documents like the court,” – Ms. Dhar said.
Meanwhile, a 2016 order of an FT based in Hailakandi district was also found to be incomplete.
It declared a resident of Mohanpur village Sukdev Ree, tea-garden worker as foreigner.
Due to this confusion, the worker served an imprisonment for 3-long years.
Based on such erratic examination, the court have directed concerned FT to reopen Ree’s case on December 3, who lost his life due to cardiac arrest. However, members of his family have been urged to appear before the FT again on December 14.
The High Court have also looked into the case of Silchar-based resident Jantu Das.
Das approached the court after the concerned FT in 2017 declared him foreigner.
Besides, the court surprisingly found that the tribunal had been sending notices to the address of another person named Sukesh Das, whose father’s name was the same as Jantu Das.
Responding to the same, the FT ruled-out all statements, and claimed that Das was given several opportunities over a 10-year period to produce evidence on his citizenship, but failed to appear before the concerned tribunal.
According to The Hindu report, “After going through the documents submitted, we have learnt that the petitioner never received any notice from the foreigners’ tribunal and, as such, the ex parte order is illegal and liable to be set aside,” the Bench comprising judges N. Kotiswar Singh and Malashri Nandi observed.
Earlier in November, the High Court allowed five declared foreigners, to prove their citizenship before the court.
A Cachar district FT declared them foreigners in an ex parte order in January 2018.
According to reports, under the provisions of Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and Foreigners Tribunal Order, 1964, only Foreigner Tribunals have the right to declare a person as a foreigner.
Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) can represent his/her case before Foreigners Tribunals (FT).