As NRC rejection slips get delayed, fate of tribunal staff uncertain

Expecting a surge in the number of disputes after the publication of the NRC on August 31, 2019, around 200 foreigners’ tribunals were proposed to be set up. Around 1,600 staffers were selected to work on a contractual basis in these tribunals for...

Agencies
"The government will take a call on the fate of these people and the tribunals," a senior official said.
GUWAHATI: As the process of issuing rejection slips to those left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has yet to start, the fate of hundreds of people who were selected to work for 200 new foreigners’ tribunals has become uncertain.

Expecting a surge in the number of disputes after the publication of the NRC on August 31, 2019, around 200 foreigners’ tribunals were proposed to be set up. The Assam government on September 23 last year notified setting up of these in 79 locations across 33 districts. Around 1,600 staffers were selected to work on a contractual basis in these tribunals for which offices were taken on rent. The State Home and Political Department, together with the Judicial Academy, also held a two-day orientation programme for the newly selected tribunal members last year.

A senior official in the state government, who does not want to be named, told ET that it would take some time to issue the rejection slips and that “the government will take a call on the fate of these people and the tribunals”.


He added: “We have taken the services of these people as they were attached to the existing tribunals for gaining experience.”

The All Assam students Union (AASU) has asked the government to make these tribunals functional. AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said the failure in appointing the selected candidates was shameful. “This shows the government’s insincerity in working towards detection and deportation of illegal foreigners. We demand immediate appointment of these people and the functioning of the tribunal.”

AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the delay in starting the process was in disregard of the SC directive. The state government official said there was suggestion from some quarters to keep these people with the functioning tribunals for the existing tribunal has a substantial number of cases.
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Issuance of rejection slips to those left out of the final register may not start before October this year, as the NRC authorities have asked officers in the different districts to verify the speaking orders for in several cases the authorities have found anomalies.

A senior NRC officer told ET: “As there is an irregularity, there has to be a quality check. We have to give a speaking order to the person concerned with rejection slip. In several cases, it is seen the names of people were cleared by the officer on the ground, however later those were rejected.”

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