Mohammad Sanaullah, the Kargil war veteran, who was arrested and sent to a detention centre on May 28 after a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) had declared him a ‘Foreigner’, has alleged that the inquiry was held without notice to him, while he was serving counter-insurgency operations in Manipur in 2008. A petition asserted that no inquiry officer visited his house and that no notice has ever been served to him.
This was not the case with only Mohammad Sanaullah, as in several other incidents, court notices and summons were not served to those against whom foreigner’s cases were slapped and the judgments were delivered ex-parte. In September last year, the Morigaon Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) found that in most cases, the opposite party did not get a proper chance to represent the case in the court before they were pronounced foreigners following court proceedings.
The whole system has become a money-making industry, as the summons were not served to the opposite parties judgments were obtained from the tribunal showing that the opposite party is absent. The Gaonburhas, Village Defence Party presidents or secretaries in support of the process server, the person who delivers summons or notices by hand, try to get cases proceeded ex-parte in lieu of cash. The entire process also includes involvement of third party.
“Foreigner’s case at this juncture have assumed the form of an industry as each and every persons involved with foreigner’s case have been trying to mint money by any means,” said an order of Morigaon FT.
Meanwhile, it has been alleged that police and lawyers are also involved in this whole money-making industry by threatening the people that if they won’t provide money to the concerned officials, then they will be declared as foreigners.
Amir Hussain, a declared foreigner by No. 3 Morigaon FT, has alleged that he was declared foreigner only because he could not provide the demanded money to a FT member. “Justice of No. 3 Morigaon Foreigners’ Tribunal, Gautam Suren demanded Rs. 2 lakhs in cash from me. But as I was unable to pay the whole amount, I have been declared as a foreigner, even after being an Indian citizen,” Amir had alleged in September, 2018.
It may be also mentioned here that the Gauhati High Court (GHC) has recently found irregularities in 12 orders passed by a FT in Nalbari district. The GHC found that a former member of the FT had disposed of 12 reference cases without a detailed opinion. “We express our disappointment over the way the member conducted himself. This was not expected,” the GHC bench said in its order.
The above incidences prove that the lawyers, members of FT and police involved in the foreigners’ cases are indulging in money-making business.