GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has ordered the Central government to file an affidavit by December 4, 2020 stating 'assignment of regular works' of the 200 newly-recruited members of Additional Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) of Assam.
The bench of Justice Suman Shyam issued the order after hearing the writ petition – WP©/1754/2015 – recently.
In September 2019, the State Home and Political department appointed FT members against the 200 Additional FTs. The Additional FTs were formed to dispose of the appeals of applicants who are ineligible to make it to the final NRC (National Register of Citizens).
According to rules, the NRC authority has to issue 'rejection slips' to applicants who are ineligible for inclusion in the final NRC. Since the RGI (Registrar General of India) is yet to notify the NRC, no 'rejection slip' has been issued as yet to any of the applicants who are ineligible for inclusion in the final NRC. And consequently, no 'assignment of regular works' for the 200 Additional FT members has been spelt out.
The order from the High Court said, "While the State has projected that unless the NRC rejection slips are issued the newly-recruited FT members cannot be assigned regular posting as they cannot decide reference case due to the prevailing norms laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. However, materials available on record prima facie indicates that the Ministry of Home Affairs had already conveyed its no objection for 'assignment of regular works' to the newly recruited members including the power to decide pending reference cases.
"When the matter is called up, Mr RK Dev Choudhury, learned Assistant Solicitor General of India, prayed for two weeks further time to place the affidavit of the Union of India on record."
This led the High Court to direct the Government of India to file its affidavit on the 'assignment of regular works' of the 200 newly-recruited FT members by December 4, 2020.
The writ petition will come up for hearing again on December 11, 2020.
At present, the State has 100 permanent FTs. Since 'assignment of regular works' has not been given to the Additional FT members, they have been attached to the permanent FTs. However, they have no work to do.
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