STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

NRC contestation to recommence from March 20 in Assam

Given the huge number of the people left out of the NRC, there is a perception that the process of challenging exclusion in the tribunals is going to be chaotic.

Published: 03rd March 2020 03:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2020 03:23 PM   |  A+A-

NRC

Once people excluded from the NRC receive the rejection slips, they can challenge their exclusion in the various foreigners’ tribunals.. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: One more phase of contestation and possible controversy, related to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), is scheduled to begin in Assam.

Come March 20, the NRC authorities will start issuing “rejection slips” to over 19 lakh people left out of the citizens’ register. The rejection slips will cite the reasons behind exclusion.

Once people excluded from the NRC receive the rejection slips, they can challenge their exclusion in the various foreigners’ tribunals. For this, they will get a 120-day window period. Under the provisions of the Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and the Foreigners’ (Tribunals) Order, 1964, only the foreigners’ tribunals are empowered to declare a person “foreigner”.

Currently, Assam has around 100 single-judge foreigners’ tribunals. As they will not suffice to handle the cases of the NRC-excluded, the government had taken a decision last year to set up 200 tribunals and appointed 221 practising lawyers and retired civil servants and judicial officers as members of the tribunals.

Given the huge number of the people left out of the NRC, there is a perception that the process of challenging exclusion in the tribunals is going to be chaotic.

Earlier, the state government had said it would make necessary arrangements to provide free legal aid to the needy by providing all assistance through the District Legal Services Authorities. However, lawyers say it will take years to dispose of the cases by the tribunals and there could also be errors in judgement given the large number of the cases they will handle.

“It is not a matter of dealing with the cases of some hundred or some thousand people. Most of the over 19 lakh people are likely to challenge their exclusion. Secondly, the tribunals do not have the required infrastructure,” advocate Masud Akhtar Zaman told this newspaper.

He said the process would ensure “huge business” for lawyers. He felt that some people might not get justice due to the ignorance of a section of lawyers on the Citizenship Act and the functioning of tribunals.

“There are many examples where people lost their cases as they engaged inefficient lawyers. There are some lawyers who do not have sufficient knowledge either on the Citizenship Act or the functioning of tribunals,” Zaman said.

He equated the NRC with the Reich Citizenship Law of 1935 in Germany during the time of Adolf Hitler saying, “I thought the NRC is like the Reich Citizenship Law that gave two sets of citizens”.

The Reich Citizenship Law declared that only those of German or related blood were eligible to be Reich citizens.
 



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp