Extending the concept of foreigners tribunals from Assam to rest of India will result in an upheaval that will stir memories of Partition. Comment.

In a tough order by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has the potential to change the order of entire nation forever by stepping over the basic fundamental rights of millions of people which can also subvert the Constitutional framework and hence change the founding principles of the republic. The order which appeared in the Gazette of June 4 has given the authority to every State government, UT and even the District Magistrates for coming up with the foreigners� tribunals in different parts of the country. The power of the latter was so far only with the Central Government and was to be used only in case of Assam. The critical order has been passed without any prior public debate or even a discussion in the Parliament. It seems to stem from the election promise of the ruling government to extend the National Register of Citizens to every part of the country for identification and deportation of infiltrators who are a threat to the national security of India.
The core of injustice shown by the tribunal lies in the reversal of the burden of proof to the victim who in case fails to furnish supporting documents of identity will be regarded as a foreigner. This order has been passed by the Supreme Court of India. The orders also empower these foreigners tribunals to have complete control over their regulations in hearing cases and also gives the power to decide the merit of the case to be eligible for appeal. These people who will be labelled as non-citizens will have to live either in or outside detention centres without any rights of citizens, thereby excluded and despised. The situation has the potential to spiral into a snowball and tear India apart.

Published: June 25, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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