Part of: GS Prelims and GS- II – Government policies and interventions
In news Assam government’s Political Department has issued a notification ordering the State police’s Border wing not to forward any case against Gurkhas to the Foreigners’ Tribunals under the Foreigners’ Act of 1946.
- The Border wing is tasked with identifying people of doubtful citizenship and serving them notices for a Foreigners’ Tribunal — a quasi-judicial establishment — to take over.
How many Gurkhas are there in the state?
- According to the 2011 census, Assam has more than 5 lakh Gurkhas, most of whom came as members of armed forces under the British administration.
- About 22,000 Gurkhas were left out of the draft National Register of Citizens published on August 31, 2019.
- The cases of some 2,500 Gurkhas are pending in a few of the 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals in Assam. All such cases are to be withdrawn.
Who is a declared foreigner?
- A declared foreigner, or DF, is a person marked by Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) for allegedly failing to prove their citizenship after the State Police’s Border wing marks him or her as an illegal immigrant.
What is a Foreigners tribunal?
- Foreigners’ Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies established as per the Foreigners’ Tribunal Order, 1964 and the Foreigners’ Act, 1946.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, and has empowered district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up Foreigners Tribunals to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not.
- Composition: Advocates not below the age of 35 years of age with at least 7 years of practice (or) Retired Judicial Officers from the Assam Judicial Service (or) Retired IAS of ACS Officers (not below the rank of Secretary/Addl. Secretary) having experience in quasi-judicial works.
Who can approach?
- Earlier, only the State administration could move the Tribunal against a suspect.
- The amended order (Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 2019) now empowers individuals to approach the Tribunals.
News source: TH