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HC sets up special bench for influx cases

Guwahati, Jan. 15: Gauhati High Court has constituted a special division bench to hear all writ appeals relating to orders passed by Foreigners Tribunals.

Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel recently constituted the two-judge bench and, accordingly, the registrar general in-charge of the high court, M.K. Bhattacharjee, issued a notification, a source said.

According to the notification, the special division bench will comprise Justice Brojendra Prasad Katakey and any other available judge. “The bench shall sit every Friday at 2pm or at such intervals as may be considered necessary by the bench,” it added.

The move is expected to ensure hearing of such appeals on a regular basis and expedite their disposal. Around 2,000 writ appeals against Foreigners Tribunal rulings are pending in the high court.

This comes at a time when the issue of influx into the state from Bangladesh has once again moved to centrestage following last year’s violence in BTAD.

Muij Uddin Mahmud, an advocate of Gauhati High Court who is dealing with such cases, welcomed the development. He hoped it would ensure hearing of such cases on a regular basis and lead to their speedy disposal, thus reducing the large volume of such pending cases.

Another lawyer said the move would reduce the pendency period of such cases. Since the special division bench will now hear all such writ appeals, the bench would be well appraised with the issues involved, which would help in the speedy disposal of the cases.

“If the cases are taken up by different benches, continuity suffers and causes delay because the new bench will again have to be appraised about the facts of the case,” he said.

The high court had also issued certain directives, including setting up of sufficient number of Foreigners Tribunals, to the Centre and Assam government for speedy trial and quality disposal of the proceedings before the Foreigners Tribunals.

The court issued the directives while passing an order in connection with review petition number 22/2010 on January 3. During the hearing of the petition, it came to light that 2,37,631 proceedings were pending in 36 Foreigners Tribunals in the state as on June 30, 2012.


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