Millennium Post

SC to examine plea for 'right to appeal of person declared foreigner' by tribunal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would examine whether a person who has been declared a foreigner by a judicial tribunal has the right to appeal his exclusion or dropping of name from the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, was told by the Centre that the tribunal's verdict, declaring a person a foreigner, would always prevail over the NRC and such foreigners or illegal migrants cannot be included in the NRC in Assam.

The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, was

hearing as many as 16 pleas on the issue.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the 16 petitioners including Abdul Kuddus, 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.

"This is the basic due process of law and fair play. Even if the right to appeal is not there, it can be created by the Supreme Court under Article 142 of the Constitution," he said.

"Kapil Sibal, senior counsel appearing for the petitioners in the special leave petitions, would like to argue that if the name of a person included in the NRC is deleted on the ground that he was a foreigner or an illegal migrant, he would have a right of appeal or right to approach the appropriate forum, as the case may be, against the exclusion/dropping of his name from the NRC," the bench said while noting down the submission and posted the matter for hearing on March 28.

The bench asked Sibal to provide case laws and other relevant materials to establish that even if the statute does not provide the remedy of appeal, "such a remedy may be carved out by this Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution."

At the outset, the bench referred to the issues to be dealt by it and said one of the questions was "whether a judicial determination of a person being a foreigner would stand superseded if the name of same person is included in the draft or final NRC."

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