Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that an Assam Foreigners Tribunal’s decision on illegal foreigners will be binding and that it will succeed the state government decision on the inclusion or exclusion of a person in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Justice Sanjiv Khanna pronouncing the order said that principle of ‘res-judicata’, a matter that has been adjudicated by a competent court and therefore may not be pursued further by the same parties, will be applicable on the tribunal, and if somebody has been declared an illegal immigrant, then that person under normal circumstances cannot challenge the decision.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has been hearing the matter regarding the right to move to an appropriate forum against the exclusion of the name of a person in the NRC. The court observed that decision of the foreigners’ tribunal, a judicial body, will prevail over NRC decisions.

The court also observed that people can produce documents related to the family tree, in case their names have not been included in NRC, and seek a review on the tribunal’s decision.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, counsel for the Centre, had said the tribunal decision will supersede over the NRC, and then a person declared illegal migrant could not be included in NRC.

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The top court had declined to create an appellate forum for people, who have been declared illegal migrant by the tribunal.

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