The Assam government will establish 400 Foreigners Tribunals in the state to deal with the cases of people who are excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Additional Chief Secretary (Home Political) Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the process is already on to set up 200 such tribunals and 200 more will be set up soon for the benefit of the excluded people.
The Foreigners’ Tribunals are Quasi judicial courts mandated to hear appeals of those excluded from the NRC.
“The tribunals will be established in convenient locations to ensure that filing and hearing of appeals is smooth and efficient,” said Krishna.
“People left out of the final NRC are not be detained under any circumstances till Foreigners Tribunals declare their decisions. These people can first approach the Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) and subsequently move higher courts if not satisfied with the FT ruling,” he said adding that the state government will also make necessary arrangements to provide legal aid to those exclude from NRC by providing all assistance through the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA).
He said the process of updation of NRC is being carried out by the Registrar General of India and the entire process is under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court.
“Under the provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946 and Foreigners Tribunal Order, 1964, only Foreigner Tribunals are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner. Thus, non-inclusion of a person’s name in the NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared a foreigner,” Krishna clarified.
“The Government of India has also extended the time-limit for filing of appeals from 60 days to 120 days, and necessary amendment in this regard has been made in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019,” he added.