Govt amends rules for ‘no ap­peal’ NRC cases

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - [email protected] times­

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.”

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