The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday reserved its order on the judgement whether a person who has been declared a foreigner by a foreigner tribunal has the right to appeal for exclusion or dropping of name from the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The apex court observed that it is for the legislature to take a call on providing the right to appeal to people for challenging the decisions of Assam’s foreigners tribunal which are in the nature of the executive order.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna reserved its order on the plea which contended that absence of right to appeal was violative of fundamental rights under the Constitution.
“The foreigners tribunal’s decisions may be quasi judicial. Persons declared foreigners by them can seek relief under Article 226 or file suits for declaration of Indian citizenship. You cannot ask the Supreme Court to make an appellate forum for them. That’s the legislature’s job,” the bench told senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, who was arguing for some of the petitioners.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said the law and the proposition on the issue is fully settled and even Article 142 cannot supplant the provisions of foreigners tribunal. “It is essentially a legislative question and cannot be touched,” Mehta submitted.
Senior advocate Sibal while appearing for the 16 petitioners had said that a person, whose name has been dropped from the NRC on the ground that he is a foreigner, should have the right to appeal.