NEW DELHI, June 7 - A Central government�s order has clarified that if a person has been declared as a foreigner earlier by any Foreigners Tribunal (FTs), such person shall not be eligible to file an appeal to any Tribunal.
The fresh guidelines, issued through a Gazette notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), are basically aimed at dealing with those people whose names have been rejected by the NRC authority.
According to the latest notification, the Central government has amended the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964, renaming it as Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 2019.
The order also states that any persons against whom a reference has already been made by the competent authority to any Foreigners Tribunal shall not be eligible to file the appeal before the Tribunal.
While referring an appeal in the Foreigner Tribunal (FT), the applicants shall provide a certified copy of the rejection order received from the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) authorities along with the grounds for appeal.
The 17-point guidelines states that the appellant may appear either in person or through a legal practitioner or an authorised relation, while the State government may appoint a pleader to represent the District Magistrate (DM).
The Tribunal will issue a notice to the DM to produce NRC records within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice and a copy shall also be sent to the pleader appearing for the government and to the appellant. The DM shall provide the NRC records in original, including the application form and documents submitted by the appellant and orders passed by the NRC authorities to the pleader appearing for the government against the claims or objections filed by the appellant.
The DM may also refer to the Tribunal for its opinion on whether the appellant is a foreigner or not within the meaning of the Foreigners Act, 1946.
On behalf of the DM, the pleader shall produce the NRC records before the Tribunal and upon production of the records, if the Tribunal finds merit in the appeal, it shall issue notice to the appellant and the DM for hearing specifying the date of hearing and such date shall be within 30 days from the date of production of the records.
During the hearing, the Tribunal shall give the appellant and the pleader appearing for the government a reasonable opportunity to present their case, including the filing of any representation or producing documents or evidence in support of their case.
After hearing the appellant and the pleader appearing for the government, the Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal by recording its opinion. The final order of the Tribunal shall contain its opinion on the matter whether the appellant is eligible for inclusion in the NRC or not. It shall also contain the opinion of the Tribunal on the reference of the DM.
The final order of the Tribunal containing its opinion shall be given within a period of 120 days from the date of production of the records.
In case a person does not prefer an appeal within the period of 60 days before the designated Tribunal, the authority may refer to the Tribunal for its opinion the question whether the said person is a foreigner or not within the meaning of the Foreigners Act, 1946. On receipt of such a reference, the Tribunal shall examine it as per the laid down procedure.
The draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018 in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
As reported, the Centre is in the process of finalising plans to set up 1,000 Foreigners Tribunals in Assam to tackle the cases after publication of the final NRC on July 31.
The Central government is also in the process of giving its approval to the State government�s proposal to set up e-Foreigners Tribunals for those who were declared illegal immigrants.
A vacation bench of the Supreme Court has spelled out the steps to be taken for filling up the posts of Members to man the 200 Foreigners Tribunals in Phase I.