Other States

Foreigners’ Tribunals appointments hang fire

GUWAHATI

The Gauhati High Court has asked the Centre and the Assam government to collectively decide whether or not the Ministerial staff for 200 additional Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) would be appointed.

Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua passed the order on August 3 after hearing a writ petition filed by 238 people who went through a selection process, to be appointed as the ministerial staff for the additional FT members.

Assam had 100 FTs prior to the publication of the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRCs) in August 2019. The State government appointed 221 members – practising lawyers, retired civil servants and judicial officers – in September that year to hear the appeals of the 19.06 lakh people excluded from the published list of citizens.

The court noted that the petitioners were selected in view of the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs to increase the number of FTs in Assam to 1,000 to cope with the expected litigation, after rejection slips are issued by the NRC authority to the people excluded from the updated document.

Extending validity of selection list

In October 2021, the Assam government had extended the validity of the selection list of the ministerial staff against the 200 additional FTs and said it will not expire.

“It can be understood that the authorities may be waiting to take a decision on the appointment of the ministerial staff as the process of issuing rejection slips by the NRC, upon which it is expected that the number of referred cases in the FTs would be more, is yet to take place,” the court observed.

“We also take note of that the candidates, who, pursuant to an advertisement had participated in a selection process and thereafter became successful, also have a legal right to know about the ultimate outcome of the process in which they had participated,” the court noted, directing the Centre and the State government to file an affidavit within four weeks stating their decisions in this regard.


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 11:55:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/will-assam-foreigners-tribunals-staff-be-appointed-gauhati-hc/article65741777.ece