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D-voter or doubtful voter

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D-voter or doubtful voter

D-voter or doubtful voter

There are 6 detention centers in Assam for foreign persons. Around 170 persons have been kept in these detention centres.

Recently, Manindra Das, the last ‘foreigner’ left in one of these detention centers, has been released and 170 persons are yet to be released.

It is to be known that ‘Manindra Das’ was registered as ‘D-Voter’ i.e. ‘Doubtful Voter’ in 2015. After some time in the year 2019, a Foreigners Tribunal (FT) declared him a “foreigner” while passing a unilateral decision against him.

Who are ‘D-Voters’ or ‘Doubtful Voters’?

  • While preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, those persons whose citizenship was found to be doubtful or disputed were marked as ‘D-voters’.
  • Such persons have also not been defined in the Citizenship Act, 1955 or the Citizenship (Amendment) Act,

Who is a ‘Declared Foreigner’?

  • Those persons are ‘Declared Foreigners-DF’, who fail to produce proof of their citizenship when detained as illegal immigrant by the Border Branch of the State Police.
  • After this those persons are declared as ‘foreigners’ by any one of the ‘Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT).

What is a ‘Foreigner Tribunal’?

These are quasi-judicial bodies established under the ‘Foreigners (Tribunals) Order’, 1964. The function of these tribunals is to determine whether a person is illegally residing in the country whether he is a ‘foreigner’ or not.

Composition of Foreign Tribunal

Members of the ‘Foreigner Tribunal’ shall include retired judicial officers of the Assam Judicial Service, civil servants having judicial experience (not below the rank of Secretary or Additional Secretary retired) and having minimum 7 years of advocacy experience of more than35 years. Young advocates are included.

Power to establish Foreign Tribunals:

The Foreigners Tribunal has been empowered by the Ministry of Home Affairs to set up tribunals to District Magistrates in all the States and Union Territories after the amendment to the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, whereas earlier, the powers to establish tribunals were vested only with the Centre.

Right to appeal to Foreigners Tribunals

In the amended order of the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019, all persons have been given the right to appeal to the tribunals. Earlier, only the state administration could file a case against a suspect in these tribunals.

Source: The Hindu

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