The Supreme Court has ordered that a Foreigners Tribunal (FT)’s decision declaring a person as an illegal foreigner will be binding and will prevail on the state government’s decision over inclusion or exclusion from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state of Assam.
The Supreme Court bench which constituted of Chief Justice of India (CJI)Ranjan Gogoi and SC Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Deepak Gupta in complete agreement distinguished between decisions of NRC and of foreigners tribunals and said that the latter’s order being the quasi-judicial one would prevail.
Justice Khanna, pronouncing the order,also said that the principle of ‘res-judicata’ (a judicially decided issue cannot be re-agitated) will be applicable on the tribunal and in that case if a person who has been declared an illegal immigrant, cannot challenge the decision under normal circumstances.
The Supreme Court, said that those people whose names have not been included in the NRC can produce documents related to the family tree and seek a review of the Tribunal’s decision. However according to the SC it cannot create an appellate forum for those, declared as illegal foreigners by the foreigners tribunal, by using its power under Article 142 of Indian Constitution.
As per the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order,1964, the order was passed by Government of India(GoI) under sectin 3 of foreigners Act,1946.
The Foreigners tribunal shall consist of persons having judicial experience as government may think fit to appoint.
The GoI can constitute foreigners tribunals whenever required to look into question of whether a person is or not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Tribunal Act,1946.
It has powers of a civil court while trying a suit under code of civil procedure, 1908. It includes summoning any person, requiring any document and issuing commissions for examination of any witness.