Laying down modalities, MHA issues directive stating Foreigner’s Tribunal order applicable for entire India

News Bharati    12-Jun-2019

Guwahati, June 12: In a quest to wean illegal immigrants sneaking in, in the country, the central government had come up with the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) draft. While this draft made some real big news in the country, with oppositions adding fuel to the unwanted controversy, the Ministry of Home Affairs have come up with a solution.


The Home Ministry has currently, laid down the modalities for foreigners' tribunals in Assam so as to take decisions on appeals made by people who are not satisfied with the outcome of claims and objections filed against the NRC. In a statement, the ministry said an order was issued recently mandating the foreigners' tribunals in Assam to deliver verdict of any case related to those people whose names could be excluded from the final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) within four months.

The statement read as, "Since the NRC work is going on only in Assam, therefore, the aforementioned order, issued on May 30, 2019 is applicable only to Assam as on date for all practical purposes."

Apparently, the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 was issued by the government under Section 3 of The Foreigners Act, 1964. It has been made applicable for the entire country.

However, major amendments in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 were undertaken in 2013. The last amendment was issued in May. All these orders are applicable to the whole country and are not specific to any state. Therefore, there is nothing new in this regard in the latest amendment of May 2019.

The May 2019 amendment only lays down the modalities for the tribunals to decide on appeals made by those not satisfied with the outcome of claims and objections filed against the NRC. This amendment order also provides for reference by district magistrate or deputy commissioner to the tribunal for its opinion as to whether the appellant is a "foreigner" or not within the meaning of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Since the foreigners' tribunals under this order have been established only in Assam and in no other state of the country, this amendment in effect is going to be relevant only to Assam at present, the statement said.

When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it. The draft NRC included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications. The final NRC, a list of Assam's residents, will be published on July 31.