Assam’s 100 foreigners’ tribunal disposed 15,000 cases in year; 119k pending

Published on Jun 02, 2022 11:25 PM IST

According to government’s report submitted to the Gauhati high court, the tribunals have 273 members including 173 on a contractual basis are working in 100 FTs.

The Assam government report said 15,201 cases were disposed from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 by 100 foreigners’ tribunals (HT File Photo)
The Assam government report said 15,201 cases were disposed from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 by 100 foreigners’ tribunals (HT File Photo)
ByBiswa Kalyan Purkayastha

Silchar: The 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) functioning across Assam have disposed 15,200 cases pending with them between April 1, 2021 and to March 31, 2022 according to a status report filed by Assam government before Gauhati high court this week.

A special bench of Gauhati high court which monitors the functioning of tribunals on a monthly basis ordered the government to submit a status report in March. The status report was submitted on May 30. According to this report, 134,365 cases were registered in Assam’s 100 FTs and of these, 15,201 cases were disposed and 1,19,164 cases are pending.

According to government’s report, the tribunals have 273 members including 173 on a contractual basis are working in 100 FTs.

The FTs disposed an average of 1,267 cases every month in the last one year. The report did not detail how many of the verdicts were delivered ex-parte or the outcome of the verdicts.

The report also shows that in some districts, proper infrastructure is still not in place primarily due to insufficient funds.

A senior lawyer involved in the matter said on condition of anonymity that the status report submitted by the Assam government highlighted the poor infrastructure of foreigners’ tribunals in many districts. He said that this is one of the reasons behind the slow disposal of cases.

“The reports submitted by deputy commissioner’s mentioned that in some FTs, they don’t have a chair, table or a ceiling fan allocated to them. How the members can hear cases in that situation? This can be one of the reasons affecting the common people to get justice,” he said.

Officials from FTs in Cachar and Karimganj districts said there were many issues that they face and these were intimated to the authorities.

The high court has listed the next hearing on June 30.

Activist Kamal Chakraborty who has helped over 100 poor families fight their cases in the tribunals believes that the state did not really need the foreigners’ tribunals.

“No declared foreigner was ever pushed back to Bangladesh, they are living in Assam with a special tag. So why is the government spending crores every month to increase the list of doubtful citizens? This money can be used in education or health sector instead.”

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