NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court Monday asked the Centre to reply to a plea which has alleged that the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order 2019 procedures, dealing with the appeals of those who would be left out in Assam NRC, are violative of the fundamental rights.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta took note of the submissions of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for All Assam Minorities Students Union (AAMSU), that the 2019 order was unfair to those who would be forced to challenge the non-inclusion in the Assam National Register of Citizens.
The top court is monitoring the exercise of finalisation of Assam NRC and has fixed the deadline of July 31 for it.
The right to appeal would be affected as the appeal of those left out in the NRC could be heard in their absence by the foreigners’ tribunal, Sibal said, adding that a person can be arrested during the hearing of the appeal.
“Amendment Order, 2019 while providing for a procedure of appeal makes the same so unreasonable that it may virtual lead to denial of justice. The newly inserted Paragraph 3A ...lays out the procedure for Appeals,” the AAMSU said.
“While the Tribunals have been entrusted with a very crucial task of being the final adjudicatory authority with respect to appeals arising out of rejection of claims by the NRC authorities, the purpose of setting up such Tribunals for identification of foreigners and determination of Indian citizenship will stand frustrated if unfairness, unreasonableness and arbitrariness is allowed to creep into the procedure and to thwart the entire gigantic exercise,” the plea said.