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SC: Law on foreigners in Assam illegal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 5
In a major setback to the Congress-led UPA government, the Supreme Court today held as illegal and unconstitutional the controversial Foreigners (Tribunals for Assam) Order, 2006.

A bench of Mr Justice S P Sinha and Mr Justice P K Balasubramanian took exception to the Centre bringing the amendment after the apex court had declared the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act (IMDT) as unconstitutional.

While striking down the IMDT Act, the Supreme Court had given necessary directions for the constitution of adequate tribunals to determine illegal migrants, the Bench observed. Inspite of the apex court's directive, the Centre had failed to set up the tribunal and instead had amended the Foreignersí Act.

The court directed the Central Government to set up tribunals within four months for the determination of illegal migrants and their deportation.

The petitioners had challenged the validity of the 2006 order, contending that the very same provision that was struck down under the IMDT Act had been incorporated in the 2006 order to give protection to illegal migrants. The amendment to the Act had put the onus of proving any person as foreigner on the person making the complaint.

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