- With regard to the National Register of Citizens, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to extend assistance to the Assam government in setting up 1,000 foreigner’s tribunals where people can contest their exclusion. Further, the Assam government has also proposed to set up e-Foreigners Tribunal.
- The MHA decision comes after the Supreme Court recently questioned the state government’s plan to set up 1,000 Foreigners’ Tribunals. The apex court had questioned the feasibility of setting up these tribunals and appointing judicial officers to preside over them.
- The court had highlighted that there would be an influx of petitions in the foreigners’ tribunals once the final NRC is published on July 31st 2019. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register which contains the name of all citizens of India residing in Assam. The process of NRC update in Assam has been taken up as per a Supreme Court order in 2013.
- Foreigners Tribunal (FT) was set up in Assam in 1964 through the Foreigners Tribunal Order 1964. The tribunals are mandated with identifying the legal status of suspected foreigners in Assam.
- At present, there are 100 FTs in Assam; of these 64 were set up in 2015, to expedite the exercise of determining illegal immigrants in the state through the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
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