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Gauhati HC: Foreigners’ Tribunal can’t Suo moto presume Jurisdiction to give Opinion when it’s not asked

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foreigners’ tribunal

Shivani Pandey-

The Gauhati High Court while replying to a reference made to the Foreigners’ Tribunal regarding the entry of a person, reckoned to be a foreigner, into Assam ruled out that Foreigners’ Tribunal cannot Suo moto presume the jurisdiction to give a viewpoint which is not asked for.

A division bench of Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Soumitra Saikia while dealing with a petition questioning the opinion of the Foreigners Tribunals of 29th November 2019 wherein it was discovered that the petitioner was unable to provide her citizenship as she had illegally moved into India after 24th march 1971.

The High Court noted that the opinion formed by the Foreigners’ Tribunal went beyond the scope of its jurisdiction, the Court ordered, “The Tribunal cannot Suo moto assume jurisdiction to give an opinion which is not sought. No opinion was sought from the Tribunal as to whether the petitioner entered India after 24.03.1971 or not.”

Putting aside the challenged opinion as being illegal, the Court observed, “It is seen that though the reference was made by the Superintendent of Police (Border), Baksa for an opinion of the Foreigners’ Tribunal, that the petitioner is an illegal immigrant who entered India between 01.01.1966 and 25.03.1971, the Tribunal went beyond the reference and rendered its opinion that the petitioner and her family members are illegal immigrants who entered India after 25.03.1971, which is clearly impermissible in law.”

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