Foreigners’ Tribunals serve no purpose: HC

GUWAHATI, March 28 – Observing that no useful purpose has been served by the Foreigners Tribunals given the easy manner in which even the detected and deported illegal Bangladeshi migrants continue to migrate to Assam, the Gauhati High Court has asked the Centre, the State Government, the State DGP and the Superintendent of Police, Karbi Anglong to clarify their stands on the matter while delivering its judgement on a writ petition WP (C) 4,171/2008.

In the above case, the petitioner, Ananda Kundu of Hojai, Nagaon, after being declared to be a foreigner by a Foreigners Tribunal and subsequently deported to Bangladesh, came back to Assam easily and even invoked the writ jurisdiction of the high court.

“…The establishment of Foreigners’ Tribunals and their decisions, even after being upheld by this court, has not yielded the desired result. The illegal Bangladeshis could easily migrate to Assam without any valid documents and stay here at par with Indian citizens with all the rights, including the right of franchise. Even after passing of the orders by the Tribunal and upholding of the same by the writ court, the authority is not in a position to deport the foreign nationals,” Justice BK Sharma said in his order dated March 26, 2008 judgement.

“In most of the cases the foreigners do the vanishing act, which otherwise should be an alarming concern for the State and Central Governments,” it added.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s observations in the Sarbananda Sonowal case equating the unabated cross-border infiltration from Bangladesh with external aggression, the High Court said that unless “prompt and useful” action was taken by the Central and State governments what was in store for Assam “can well be imagined.”