BHRPC demands removal of Foreigners Tribunal judges for communal remark

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Press release
Silchar, 30 APril 2020

top-news-eng-17-04-2020

Barak Human Rights Protection Committtee (BHRPC) wrote a representation to the Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam in the department of Home and Political (B) lodging complaint against the members of the Foreigners Tribunals for their communal remark demanding an inquiry in the matter followed by removal of the members to protect the sanctity of the judicial institution.

Mr. Kamal Kumar Gupta, a member of the Foreigners Tribunal wrote a letter dated 7 April 2020 to Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Health Minister of the Government of Assam, expressing an intention to donate an amount of Rs. 60000.00 (Rupees Sixty Thousand) to Assam Arogya Nidhi (AAN) for use in fight against the pandemic COVID-19 with a request that this amount should not be used for treatment of people who are the members of Tablighi Jamat. The Tablighis are labeled as JIHADI, JAHIL in this letter. The said letter is claimed to have been written on behalf of some other members of the Tribunal.

BHRPC believes that the condition made by the Tribunal members for use of the money to be donated by them exposed their deep-set prejudice against people from Muslim community. The Tablighi Jama’at is not a formal organization in the traditional sense. Particularly, they don’t have official and formal membership. Any Muslim can participate in their programmes. This makes it like an open door institution of the community. BHRPC thinks terming the Tablighi participants Jihadis means calling all Muslims Jihadis. Such an expression betrays inherent hatred towards the community.

BHRPC observes that the tribunal members function as judges to determine the precious right of citizenship. It is an age old rule of natural justice respected all over the civilized world that judges should not only be impartial but they should also be seen to be impartial. The said letter made it impossible to see the signatories to be impartial in their quasi judicial functions as member of the tribunals. Their letter proves that they do not hold impartial attitude rather they have prejudiced, biased and occupied mentality. Their area of work needs impartial attitude. There are many allegations that linguistic and religious minorities of Assam are harassed by the state machineries in the name of detection, detention and deporting the illegal immigrants. There are also some cases where ex parte judgments have been issued against peoples having sufficient proof of Indian citizenship. In such a situation this letter has triggered controversy and criticism over the recruitment process of these judges. These judges have breached the protocol and are threat to the justice delivery system.

BHRPC requested the authorities to conduct an enquiry into the matter and relieve the biased members of the tribunal from the responsibility to protect the sanctity of judicial institution.

A copy of the representation is also sent to the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.

Click here to download a copy of the representation.

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