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SC orders functioning of 64 addl tribunals

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, July 14 - Directing that 64 additional foreigners tribunals should start functioning in Assam by August 10, the Supreme Court today ordered the Centre and the Government of Assam to take immediate measures, including improving border security management, roads and electrification with floodlights, on the basis of the apex court�s Commissioner Upamanyu Hazarika�s report.

A Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman, accepted the court-appointed Commissioner Hazarika�s report on his Assam-Bangladesh border visit.

Hazarika reported that in Dhubri sector though the rivers cannot be fenced, there was no patrolling of the riverine section of the Indo-Bangladesh border. On the Silchar sector, some gaps were reported, as the floodlights were not operational. Further, there were no electrified fences in the sector, it was reported.

Moreover, there was no State police patrolling, due to which infiltration was still going on. Within the 150 metres of the international border, there were villages where people could move around freely as there were no gates or proper fencing. The Supreme Court Commissioner also submitted video recordings along with relevant documents.

The Supreme Court Bench asked the Court Commissioner to visit the border after two months and see the status of the work on ground undertaken by the Union government and the Government of Assam on the basis of the Supreme Court�s order.

Regarding the tribunals, the Supreme Court directed the Gauhati High Court to set up 64 additional tribunals. Currently, 36 tribunals are functioning and with the addition of 64 tribunals, which would start functioning by August 10, the number would go up to 100.

About the pending cases in the tribunals, when the Supreme Court asked for the total number of pending cases, the State coordinator replied that there were approximately five lakh cases. The Supreme Court desired that the pending cases should be cleared within a time-frame. It suggested that if required, the Gauhati High Court could increase its infrastructure.

The Bench today dwelt at length on the Citizenship Act Rule 3, which deals with the provision relating to status of children born in India, but whose parents are illegal migrants. The Supreme Court asked the Government of India and the Government of Assam to furnish their responses by July 21. The issue was raised through a petition filed by families of martyrs.

On the issue of the court monitoring the NRC issue, it remarked that some issues relating to indigenous people, tea tribes and various tribal groups had come up and the Bench would deal with the issue next Wednesday.

The Supreme Court would resume hearing of the case next Tuesday, when it would also take up all the intervention and additional petitions filed by various individuals and organisations.

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SC orders functioning of 64 addl tribunals

NEW DELHI, July 14 - Directing that 64 additional foreigners tribunals should start functioning in Assam by August 10, the Supreme Court today ordered the Centre and the Government of Assam to take immediate measures, including improving border security management, roads and electrification with floodlights, on the basis of the apex court�s Commissioner Upamanyu Hazarika�s report.

A Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman, accepted the court-appointed Commissioner Hazarika�s report on his Assam-Bangladesh border visit.

Hazarika reported that in Dhubri sector though the rivers cannot be fenced, there was no patrolling of the riverine section of the Indo-Bangladesh border. On the Silchar sector, some gaps were reported, as the floodlights were not operational. Further, there were no electrified fences in the sector, it was reported.

Moreover, there was no State police patrolling, due to which infiltration was still going on. Within the 150 metres of the international border, there were villages where people could move around freely as there were no gates or proper fencing. The Supreme Court Commissioner also submitted video recordings along with relevant documents.

The Supreme Court Bench asked the Court Commissioner to visit the border after two months and see the status of the work on ground undertaken by the Union government and the Government of Assam on the basis of the Supreme Court�s order.

Regarding the tribunals, the Supreme Court directed the Gauhati High Court to set up 64 additional tribunals. Currently, 36 tribunals are functioning and with the addition of 64 tribunals, which would start functioning by August 10, the number would go up to 100.

About the pending cases in the tribunals, when the Supreme Court asked for the total number of pending cases, the State coordinator replied that there were approximately five lakh cases. The Supreme Court desired that the pending cases should be cleared within a time-frame. It suggested that if required, the Gauhati High Court could increase its infrastructure.

The Bench today dwelt at length on the Citizenship Act Rule 3, which deals with the provision relating to status of children born in India, but whose parents are illegal migrants. The Supreme Court asked the Government of India and the Government of Assam to furnish their responses by July 21. The issue was raised through a petition filed by families of martyrs.

On the issue of the court monitoring the NRC issue, it remarked that some issues relating to indigenous people, tea tribes and various tribal groups had come up and the Bench would deal with the issue next Wednesday.

The Supreme Court would resume hearing of the case next Tuesday, when it would also take up all the intervention and additional petitions filed by various individuals and organisations.