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Acute shortage of judges ails foreigner detection in Assam

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Vacancies were announced for judges in 67 tribuls, but only sixteen eligible applications were received

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 26: Plans to increase the number of Foreigners Tribuls in the State from 36 to 100 continue to be mired in uncertainty due to shortage of judges.

The Supreme Court had asked the Gauhati High Court to conduct the process of selecting judges, and accordingly an advertisement was published about two months back.

Vacancies were announced for 67 Foreigners Tribuls (FT). However, only sixteen eligible applications were received.

Of the sixteen, thirteen are retired judges while three are senior advocates.

Earlier, due to the shortage of judges, the qualification norms for FT judges were relaxed. Besides retired judges, even senior advocates were made eligible to occupy the post.

On the basis of the High Court's recommendation, the Assam government yesterday appointed thirteen new FT judges, while the remaining three will be appointed within a week.

Official sources said the State government is contemplating on setting up new FTs despite the shortage of judges. "We are planning to give the responsibility of more than one Foreigners Tribul to a single judge to meet the shortage," said the sources.

Currently, the State has 36 functioning FTs. Seven of them - Goalpara (I), Barpeta (III), Lakhimpur (I), Tezpur (I), Hailakandi, gaon (III) and Karimganj - also do not have permanent judges. Judges of other FTs are holding additiol charges of these vacant tribuls. This makeshift arrangement has affected functioning of the tribuls.

Currently, there are over 2.5 lakh cases pending before the 36 Foreigners Tribuls in the State.

The Centre reimburses the expenses incurred in running the 36 tribuls. The State Government charges around Rs 22 lakh as expenses for maintaining each tribul.

Since 1986, after the signing of the Assam Accord Accord, just 54,000 illegal migrants have been identified in the State, 39,000 of whom have gone missing.

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