GUWAHATI: As a follow-up to the management process in the post-publication phase of the final NRC (National register of Citizens), the Home and Political Department of the Assam government has prepared an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for receipt and disposal of appeals by the designated FTs (Foreigners Tribunals). The SOP is as per the guidelines for post-NRC appeals and references in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019, informed sources.
The State Government has already given appointment to the Gauhati High Court-selected members of the newly established 200 Additional FTs as well as 21 more to fill up the vacant posts in some of the existing 100 FTs.
Altogether 3,30,27,661 people (through 68,37,660 applications) had applied for inclusion of their names in the final NRC published on August 31, 2019. Of them, 3,11,21,004 were found eligible for inclusion while 19,06,657 applicants have been declared ineligible for inclusion in the final NRC.
As per the SOP, the appellant, whose name has not been included in or deleted from the Final NRC document — in spite of his filing claim or objection(s) before the NRC authority — may appear to file an appeal either in person or through a duly authorized representative in writing subject to acceptance of such representation by the Designated Tribunal concerned.
The appellant will have to provide a certified copy of the rejection order, received from the NRC authority, along with his memo of appeal to be filed in the prescribed form. An online assist portal will be provided to the appellants for ease of filing appeals. This online portal will be accessible to the public through Internet. Each appellant will fill up the information in the portal.
On submission of this information, the portal will generate a filled-up ‘Appeal Memo Form’ along with the address of the designated FT where the application will be physically submitted. The appellant will take a printout of the filled up ‘Appeal Memo Form’ which will have a ‘Unique Reference Number’ (URN). This will restrict the appellants to apply within the same district where the NRC application was made.
On receipt of the NRC rejection letter from the NRC authority, the appellant along with the printed filled-up ‘Appeal Memo Form’ generated by the portal will have to visit the prescribed FT for physical submission of the appeal.
On receipt of the physical appeals at the designated FTs, an ‘Acknowledgement Number’ will be given to the appellant with a disclaimer that “This is an Acknowledgement of receipt. You will be intimated about acceptance of your appeal on further verification along with details of the FT where your case will be registered and heard.” Additionally, an SMS will also be sent to the appellant with the ‘Acknowledgement Number’.
At the time of submission of appeals, biometric details of the appellant will be captured at the designated FT — if not already captured during the NRC process.
Before registering the appeal so preferred, the Designated Tribunal shall also ensure that a person against whom a reference has already been made by the competent authority and that such reference case is pending for disposal before any FT, shall not be eligible to file any appeal before the Tribunal and, if filed, such appeal shall not be received or registered by the Designated Tribunal.
Likewise a person, who has already been declared as a foreigner by the FT while disposing of any reference made to it by the respective SP (Border), shall also not be eligible to file any appeal before any Tribunal (Designated or the Tribunal declaring such person a foreigner).
SOP provisions for reallocation & transfer of appeals to Additional Tribunals:
On receipt of such appeals, the concerned designated Tribunal shall re-allocate and transfer the appeals to the Additional Tribunals for disposal of the same as per the prescribed procedure of law.
The appeals will be processed by the central cloud server and will be directed to the corresponding Additional FTs through electronic means.
As long as the applicant load is balanced, the central server will process on a priority basis to place the family members from the same ARN and roots (Legacy Data) in a single FT. Thereafter it will use the method of “Round Robin” to distribute the cases within one of the Additional FTs.
(ii) The entire excluded appellant’s information from NRC will be there in the respective District DM’s office. The Additional FTs on receipt of the appeals from the Designated FTs through central server will verify the information with NRC rejected list received from the respective DMs.
On verification of the appeals, the respective FTs will generate a FT Case Number which will be intimated to the Appellant through SMS and by physical letter.
During this entire process, the Appellant would be able to check the status of the application online by typing the Acknowledgement ID given during application receipt at Designated FTs.
SOP for ‘Disposal of Appeals & References:
On receipt of the registered appeals from the Designated Tribunals, the Additional Tribunals shall issue notice to the respective District Magistrate (DM) to produce before it the NRC Records within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice and a copy of said notice shall also be sent to the pleader, who may be appointed by the Government to represent the DM.
A copy of such notice will also be sent to the appellant in a hard copy to be served through process server.
On receipt of the notice from the Additional Tribunal, the DM will provide the NRC records in original including the documents submitted by the appellant at the time of filing claim or objection, as the case may be, along with the order passed by the NRC authority to the duly appointed pleader for the Government for placing the same before the Additional Tribunal in response to the Notice.
The respective DM may depute or authorize any representative to act on his/her behalf in any proceeding before the Additional Tribunal.
SOP on Return of Records & storage:
After disposal of such appeals and the references by the Additional tribunals, the Government Pleaders will return to the concerned DM the NRC records in original including the documents submitted by the appellant at the time of filing the claims or objected, along with the order passed by the NRC authority. This will be done by the Government Pleaders after receipt of the same from the Additional tribunals. The concerned DM will then keep these data stored safely or may return the same back to the NRC authority for storage (as the original record is the property of NRC) after keeping a copy thereof for his/her office record safely.