News & Information From Northeast India

PIL challenges Foreigners Amendment Order in Assam

A petition in the Supreme Court has challenged the constitutionality of provisions in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order 2019.

The petition, filed by All Assam Minorities’ Students Union, contends that the provisions in the amendment order are in stark violation of the fundamental liberties guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of those who have not been included in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the process of updating in Assam.

“As a consequence, it will not be in favour of those who will prefer an appeal after their non-inclusion in the final NRC and after rejection of their claims”.

According to petitioners’ counsel, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the Centre, after the initial hearing on the matter. Petitioner was represented through senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid.

The petitioner claims to be a prominent representative body and important stakeholder in the NRC process.

The petitioner contends that the Amendment Order, 2019 has been passed by the Centre without any form of consultation with the concerned stakeholders. The counsel for the petitioner contended that a person may file an appeal only upon production of a certified copy of the rejection order received from the NRC authorities within 60 days from the date of order of rejection of claims/objection.

But, in the amendment Order, there is no provision for condoning the delay, nor is there any safeguard obligating NRC authorities to issue a certified copy of the order in a time-bound manner.

The petitioner also claims that the amendment order is jumbling up two distinct legal processes – one by the tribunal and the other by the district magistrate.

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