The Assam government has discontinued their services from September 23 via a notification issued by the Home Department Commissioner and Secretary Diganta Bara on October 14.
It created displeasure among these members with the way they have been removed and some of them approached the apex court challenging the government decision.
On Friday, an advocate told a division bench of the apex court that the 200 additional Tribunals were supposed to be set up in Assam to dispose of the pending Foreigners cases. At present, there are nearly 1.5 lakhs foreigners cases waiting for a judgment at the tribunals.
“The state government wrongly related the service of the additional members to the NRC exercise. Moreover, the government notification is a clear violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India,” he added.
The Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) is a quasi-judicial body and a member of the FT has a designation similar to a judge. In addition to 100 regular FTs, the Assam government appointed practicing lawyers, retired civil servants, and judicial officers for the additional 200 FTs soon after the complete draft NRC was published in August 2019.
Hearing the counsel representing the petitioners, the top court has sought a reply from the state and Central government on this matter.