Kangaroo tribunals: Foreigners’ Tribunals almost another arm of BJP government in Assam – By Faizan Mustafa
The Supreme Court’s taking of strong exception to BJP leader and UP cooperative minister Mukut Bihari Verma’s purported statement – that the “Supreme Court is ours” and the judgment in the Babri case will be in favour of Hindus – is reassuring. Unfortunately, Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) in Assam have been working in the most partisan manner. Gauhati High Court, in the latest order of its suo motu proceedings – in response to an email dated April 23, 2018, by the member-in-charge of Morigaon FT to Assam Government – has quashed FT’s proceedings of Morigaon in 57 cases, and, ordered these cases to be heard afresh.
The court was shocked at some of the details of the 282 cases dealt with by the FT: 17 persons on a note sheet were declared Indian citizens, but the order declared them foreigner; in 11 cases, judgment was not found on record; in 32 cases, people were earlier ex-parte declared foreigners but were eventually found to be Indians, though the earlier court orders were not vacated; in five cases, dual judgments were discovered and, in two cases, proceedings were to be initiated against Rabindra Chandra and Pachar Ali, but a different pair – Rahima Khatun and Anwara Khatun, who were not in any way related to the proceedings – was declared as foreigners.
Similarly, Mujibur Rahman, a serving assistant sub-inspector of BSF and his wife were ex-party and, without any notice, declared foreigners by the Jorhat FT though the couple belong to a family of freedom fighters. They even had property documents of 1926. The Gauhati High Court subsequently quashed this order. A Kargil war hero and honorary lieutenant, Sanaullah, was declared a foreigner and sent to a detention centre. The high court had to grant him bail to save him from detention.…
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