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When some foreigners tribunals fail their purpose

GUWAHATI, June 15: Foreigners tribunals (FTs) came into being in Assam for the detection of illegal immigrants in the State. But when the judgments of some of these tribunals turn out to be erroneous, the very purpose gets defeated.

The Gauhati High Court has rejected as many as 220 judgments declaring as many people of suspected nationalities as Indians by FT No. 4 located at Juria and FT No. 5 located at Nagaon Sadar. All the 220 judgments – 188 of the tribunal at Juria and 32 of the tribunal at Nagaon Sadar – were delivered by Justice Arup Sarma.

As and when some speculations regarding the 220 judgments came to the fore, the Gauhati High Court took a suo motu case (1/2018) and instructed Dispur to seize all records of the 220 cases. The step taken up by the Gauhati High Court literally opened up too big a can of worms – if some of the judgments do not bear the mandatory signatures, in many others the proper procedure is not followed. The lacunae in the judgments led the High Court to reject all the 220 judgments.

The High Court has also found such lacunae in as many as other 84 judgments delivered by FT No. 2 located at Nalbari. Such incidents have proved that the judgments being delivered by a section of foreigners tribunals are erroneous.

When some foreigners tribunals cannot be the last resort for the detection of foreigners staying illegally in Assam, the exercise of detection of foreigners in the State is going to be too expensive. And it is impossible on the part of Dispur to get each and every FT judgment reviewed by higher courts.