Govt amends rules for ‘no appeal’ NRC cases
New Delhi: The home ministry on Saturday inserted an enabling provision in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 to deal with a scenario where no appeal is filed by a resident of Assam against his or her exclusion from final National Register of Citizens (NRC) and will allow district magistrates to refer such cases to the tribunal for its opinion as to whether the person is a ‘foreigner’ within the meaning of the Foreigners Act, 1946.
“Over 19 lakh residents of Assam are not in the final NRC. The Foreigners’ (Tribunals) Amendment Order notified on May 30, 2019, allowed those left out of National Register of Citizens to file an appeal before the tribunals within 120 days challenging their exclusion and also empowered the district magistrate to refer their cases to the tribunal along with the appeal. However, for those among the 19 lakh who choose not to file an appeal at all, the Foreigners (Tribunals) (second Amendment) Order, 2019, notified on Saturday empowers the district magistrate to unilaterally approach the tribunals for deciding such persons’ status as ‘foreigner’ or otherwise,” a home ministry official told TOI.
This would leave no scope for non-determination of status of those left out of NRC published in Assam on August 31, irrespective of whether the aggrieved party approaches the tribunal, said the officer.
Under the Foreigners (Tribunals) order amended on Saturday, for sub-para 6, the following has been substituted: “In case no appeal is preferred...the District Magistrate may refer to the Tribunal for its opinion the question as to whether the person is a foreigner or not.”