2 years given to dispose of 2,25,633 foreigners cases
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 25: Prodded by the Gauhati High Court with the Supreme Court also adding its weight, the Assam government has at long last constituted 64 additiol foreigners tribuls, which takes the number of tribuls in the State to 100. Coming three decades after the Assam Accord with the influx of lakhs of Bangladeshi migrants posing a serious problem to the State’s demography, the 100 foreigners tribuls have now been given two years to dispose all pending cases.
As of now, 2,25,633 cases are pending in the hugely overburdened 36 foreigners tribuls. Most of these cases will now be distributed among the newly-constituted 64 tribuls, raising hopes for expediting their disposal. The new tribuls have been set up in Cachar, Karimgunj, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Udalguri, Baksa, Chirang, Barpeta, lbari, Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), Dima Hasao, Darrang, Sonitpur, Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts.
The pattern of pending cases in the existing tribuls also gives some idea of the foreigners problem in the respective districts. The 2nd tribul in Mangaldoi with 17,013 cases has the highest number of pending cases. It is followed by Barpeta’s 2nd tribul with 15,074 cases, Dhubri’s 1st tribul (14,709), Barpeta’s 1st tribul (14,665), gaon’s 1st tribul (13,890), Tezpur’s 1st tribul (12,267), Tezpur’s 3rd tribul (11,195), lbari tribul (10,372), Goalpara’s 1st tribul (9,476), Kamrup tribul (8,467), Lakhimpur tribul (6,392), Hojai tribul (5,029) and Kamrup metro tribul (584).
For the last couple of years, the Assam government in consultation with the Union Home ministry did try to increase the number of foreigners tribul from 36 to 100 as per the orders of the Gauhati High Court and Supreme Court. Posts for judges and office staff for to-be-constituted foreigners tribuls were advertised, but to no avail. The shortage of judges put paid to all these efforts.
The Government of India then relaxed the norms for appointing judges to the foreigners tribuls, making senior advocates also eligible to apply. The process picked up steam, and for each new tribul, a judge along with a UDA cum accountant, an LDA, a bench assistant, a stenographer and a typist were appointed. This apart, provisions have been made for recruiting on contract basis two data entry operators, one copyist, one peon, one driver and one chowkidar for each tribul. The Union ministry of Home Affairs will bear the entire burden of salary expenditure for all the tribuls.
With several lakh illegal Bangladeshi migrants having fanned out in different districts, grabbing land and getting their mes into voter rolls — Assam is faced with a foreigners problem of staggering dimensions. Only a fraction of foreigners have been detected, and it is these cases the tribuls will have to deal with. The question is whether two years will be sufficient for even 100 foreigners tribuls to dispose of more than 2 lakh pending cases, leave alone deal expeditiously with new cases coming in.