The Supreme Court has freed a person in Assam, who was declared an illegal migrant by a Foreigner’s Tribunal.

After being declared illegal migrant, the man was passing days at a detention centre in Assam since May 15, 2019.

According to a media report, the Supreme Court after hearing an appeal found that the Foreigner’s Tribunal declared him an illegal migrant without following the principles of natural justice.

The Supreme Court also said the authorities can apply 30-day rule to challenge a decision of the Foreigners’ Tribunal declaring a person an “illegal immigrant” in cases where an appellant does not appear before the tribunal even after receiving a legal notice.

The judgment was delivered by a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

They heard an appeal filed by Md. Misher Ali against a Gauhati High Court decision dismissing his petition challenging a March 2018 order of the Foreigners’ Tribunal declaring him an “illegal immigrant”.

Also read: Assam: Foreigners Tribunal drops case against a declared foreigner

Md. Misher Ali claimed that he was declared a foreigner without giving him an opportunity to be heard as no effective service of notice was served to him before proceeding against him as a an illegal migrant.

According to the Supreme Court bench, according to the report, no effort was made to effect the service of notice at the permanent residential address of Md. Misher Ali.

Also read: Assam’s Foreigners Tribunals have 1.4 lakh pending cases

In Assam, many other people, who were kept in various detention centres in Assam, alleged that they were declared foreigner despite the fact that they had been living in the state for several decades.

In January 2020, the Foreigners Tribunal No. 2 in Assam’s Bongaigaon district dropped a case against one Akbar Ali, who was served a second notice for being a foreigner by the border police.

The second notice to Akbar Ali was served by the border branch of the Bongaigaon police.

Sources said, Ali had passed three years in the detention camp after being declared a foreigner in a case lodged against him.

He was released from the Goalpara detention camp.

Foreigners’ Tribunal member Eva Kakoti dropped the case after giving a verdict as the office of the superintendent of police itself pleaded for dropping it.

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