89 Members of Assam Foreigners Tribunals Move Supreme Court

Guwahati: The Supreme Court of India has sent a notice to the state of Assam in response to a petition challenging their discharge from service filed by 89 Assam Foreigners Tribunal members.

Following an order issued by the top court on May 30, 2019, which called for the creation of extra Foreigners Tribunals all 89 members were appointed on a contractual basis.

They were released via a notification dated October 14 that has been contested in front of the Supreme Court.

The state of Assam was given notice and asked to respond by a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli.

The cases of foreigners who entered Bangladesh illegally or who are living there illegally in Assam are handled by the Foreigners Tribunal.

According to the supreme court’s instructions, 221 people were appointed to Foreigners Tribunals in 2019.

The argument put forth by attorney Kaushik Choudhury was that the order issued by the State dismissing the petitions was completely arbitrary, discriminatory and in violation of the petitioners’ fundamental rights as guaranteed by Articles 14 and 16 of the Indian Constitution.

Around 1 lakh cases involving foreigners are still pending in Assam, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan briefed the benches during the hearing.

The petitioners also claimed that the State misclassified their service by erroneously interpreting it to be limited to National Register of Citizens (NRC)-related matters, and that because the NRC has not yet been published and rejection slips have not yet been distributed their service is now void.

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