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Don't Short-Circuit the Process, SC Tells NRC Coordinator, Clears 200 Additional Foreigners Tribunals

Over the last couple of days, various media reports have surfaced on how Mohammad Sanaullah, a 52-year-old retiree who furnished documents showing that he had served the Indian Army for 30 years, was arrested on Tuesday in Assam after a tribunal declared him a 'foreign national'.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:May 30, 2019, 4:12 PM IST
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Don't Short-Circuit the Process, SC Tells NRC Coordinator, Clears 200 Additional Foreigners Tribunals
People at an NRC Nagarik Seva Kendra in Guwahati. (PTI photo)

New Delhi: Amid reports of how a retired army soldier who served for 30 years in the armed forces was arrested after being declared a 'foreigner', the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the NRC coordinator to make certain all claims and objections are properly examined and no short cut is followed.

"Examine all cases of objections in a proper manner. Don't cut short the due process. Ensure all get fair chances. Disposal of all claims must be properly done," the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela.

The bench said that some media reports showed certain disturbing facts about how claims against non-inclusion of names in NRC are being examined.

"Be fair to everyone. I know you have to meet the deadline and you must adhere to it. But this must be done in a proper manner," added the CJI.

Over the last couple of days, various media reports have surfaced on how Mohammad Sanaullah, a 52-year-old retiree who furnished documents showing that he had served the Indian Army for 30 years, was arrested on Tuesday in Assam after a tribunal declared him a 'foreign national'.

His arrest was apparently linked to Assam’s elaborate process of weeding out foreign nationals whose names do not feature in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) and whose citizenship is now in doubt.

Sanaullah's name was not in the first draft of the NRC and his appeal against non-inclusion is pending before the NRC coordinator.

In the hearing on Thursday, the bench also paved way for setting up 200 additional foreigners’ tribunal in Assam for detention of illegal migrants.

The court approved the scheme formulated by the Assam government, which was represented through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The additional tribunals have to be made functional by September 1. At present, there are around 80 such tribunals functioning while the requirement, as per Assam government's own estimation, is about 1,000 tribunals.

The process of updation of NRC is being supervised by the Supreme Court, which has also been monitoring the process of setting up required number of foreigners’ tribunals as well as status of deportation of those declared foreign nationals.

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