- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
What to study?
For prelims and mains: Foreigners Tribunal-need, composition, Functions and significance.
Context: According to Assam government data presented in an affidavit to the Supreme Court and in the Assembly this year, Foreigners’ Tribunals have declared 1,03,764 persons foreigners between 1985 and August 2018.
How do Foreigners’ Tribunals work?
The Foreigners’ Tribunals — 100 existing and 200 more to be functional by September 1 — are quasi-judicial bodies meant to “furnish opinion on the question as to whether a person is or is not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Act, 1946”.
In 1964, the Centre passed the Foreigners’ (Tribunals) Order under provisions of Section 3 of the Act.
The FTs get two kinds of cases: those against whom a “reference” has been made by border police, and those whose names in the electoral rolls have a D (Doubtful) against them.
Under what provision do Foreigners’ Tribunals pass ex parte orders?
Section 9 of the Foreigners Act says that “the onus of proving that such person is not a foreigner or is not a foreigner of such particular class or description, as the case may be, shall, not withstanding anything contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, lie upon such person”.
Thus, the accused has to prove he or she is an Indian. Since the onus is on the person, if he or she is absconding and doesn’t appear before the tribunal, the member can pass an ex parte order.
Can an accused contest an ex parte order?
The said order may be reviewed by the Foreigners’ Tribunal if sufficient reasons are shown by the proceedee for his absence or for having no knowledge about the cases, within the absence or for having no knowledge about such order.
What happens if an exparte order does not come up for review, or a review fails?
If police can track the person after the order, he or she will be arrested and put into a detention camp. If not, the person will be an ‘untraced foreigner’. Many ‘declared foreigners’ appeal in the High Court and then the Supreme Court against an order by the FT.
Sources: Indian Express.