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Advocates of Silchar Bar Association call for suitable amendment to Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Special Correspondent

Silchar, Aug 1: In a memorandum addressed separately to Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology, on Wednesday, advocates Dharmananda Deb and Mriganka Bhattacharjee of Silchar Bar Association have called for suitable amendment in Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964. According to them, the existing provisions under Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964 under which about 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals are operating in Assam provide for the state only to make references against a doubtful national to such tribunal.

There is no provision for a person to go to a tribunal suo moto, but paragraph 8 of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 as per which the NRC is being updated in Assam now provides for filing appeal by a person before such tribunal against orders passed at the stage of claims and objections during NRC updating in Assam. Further, the existing procedure of trial in such tribunal as laid down in Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964 as per se is inconsistent vis-à-vis the provision for filing appeal by a person as provided in paragraph 8 of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

The learned advocates therefore feel that the existing procedure provided in Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964 is required to be suitably amended to enable a person to file an appeal before such tribunal suo moto against orders passed at the stage of claims and objections during updating in Assam. They also feel that the appropriate amendment inter-alia should also contain that such tribunal will be the first appellate authority and the High Court is the second appellate authority.

The learned advocates at the same time point out that while amending the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964, appropriate provision is required to be inserted to give effect to the September 7, 2015 Order vide No. GSR 686 (E) under Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920 (34 of 1920) as well as GSR 686 (E under Foreigners Act 1946 (31 of 1946) to enable these tribunals to take note of these two orders judicially. Both the advocates have said that updating of NRC in Assam has reached the stage of claims and objections and therefore the issue raised needs to be addressed with due importance.

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