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FTs in Assam’s interests?

47 orders in for HC test

GUWAHATI, June 17: Of late, a number of orders declaring people of suspected nationalities as Indians by foreigners tribunals (FTs) have posed an ethical question – do all FTs in Assam act in the interest of justice? Now 47 such FT orders are in for the test of the Gauhati High Court.

The Gauhati High Court has registered another suo motu case (12/2018) on the basis a letter sent to the Deputy Secretary to the Government of Assam, Home and Political (B) Department with a copy marked to the Registrar (Judicial) Gauhati High Court by Rangiya FT No. 5 (Kamrup) member Dhiman Talukdar on May 16, 2018. In his letter, the FT member has said that he noticed anomalies in the case records dealt by the previous member of the Tribunal. FT member Talukdar has also furnished a list of 56 cases in which major anomalies like non-availability of reasoned opinions in records, non-signing of orders, non-passing of reasoned opinions etc have been detected. Forty-seven of the 56 cases were shown as disposed of.

Taking the enormity of the anomalies into accounts, the Gauhati High Court has instructed the Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Home and Political (B) to seize all records of the 47 disposed of references as pointed out by Talukdar and submit a detailed report before the court on the next date. The High Court has also said that the Principal Secretary may also seize further case records as disposed of if such anomalies are detected.

Such a development has come close on the heels of the Gauhati High Court cancelling as many as 220 orders in which two FTs declared as many as 220 people of suspected nationalities as Indians. A section of right-thinking people in the State, on the other hand, feels like asking a section of FT members if their consciences do not prick them while committing such anomalies.