gaon FT member called to explain his order before HC bench
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 24: A division bench of the Gauhati High Court asked the member of a Foreigners Tribuls to appear before it to explain as to how the latter declared a petitioner to be a foreigner ‘belonging to the 1.1.1966 to 24.3.1971 stream’. The bench feels that the obscure order of the Tribul issued on October 14, 2015 is bound to favour the petitioner in getting the benefit of doubt.
In the State of Assam-versus-Phool Banu case (344/15), the then gaon SP (Border) alleged that Phool Banu was suspected to be a foreigner who had entered India (Assam) from Bangladesh illegally after March 25, 1971. Incidentally, the date March 25, 1971 as mentioned by then gaon SP (Border) is the cut-off date, in accordance with the Assam Accord. Initially, the petitioner had appeared before the Tribul. However, she stopped appearing before the Tribul later and bothered the least to file any written statement or evidence. That led the Tribul proceed ex parte.
The High Court bench in this case observed that the petitioner not being able to prove her entering Assam before March 25, 1971 is her default. “The reference should have been answered in favour of the State as presented i.e. by declaring the petitioner to be a foreigner of post-25.03, 1971 stream. Strangely enough, the Tribul declared the petitioner to be a foreigner belonging to the 1.1.1966 to 24.3.1971 stream,” the High Court bench observed, and said that ‘this is an order which would indirectly benefit the petitioner’.
The High Court bench comprising Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Nelson Sailo has called the member of Foreigners Tribul 3rd, gaon to appear before it along with records of the case on April 11, 2018 and explain as to how and on what basis he had declared the petitioner to be a foreigner ‘belonging to the 1.1.1966 to 24.3.1971 stream’.