The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and Assam government on petitions challenging several clauses in Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019. The petitioners have claimed that the order is violative of fundamental rights of those left out of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) and are likely to be left out of the final NRC.
A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta issued the notice on the petitions filed by All Assam Minorities Students Union and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
The petitioners referred to the newly inserted Paragraph 3A under Clause (1) according to which a person may file an appeal only upon production of a certified copy of the rejection order received from NRC authorities along with the grounds of appeal. This, they said, is in contrast to Paragraph 8 of Schedule to the 2003 Original unamended Rules which provides a period of 60 days from the date of the order of rejection of claims/objection, as the time during which a person shall prefer an appeal.
They also cited a clause which says the tribunal may issue a notice for hearing the appeal only if it finds merit in it. “…the purpose of setting up such Tribunals… will stand frustrated if unfairness, unreasonableness and arbitrariness is allowed to creep into the procedure…,” the plea said.
The court will hear the matter again after four weeks.