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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightHC releases woman...

HC releases woman first declared Indian, then foreigner by tribunal

HC releases woman first declared Indian, then foreigner by tribunal

Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court ordered the release of an Assam woman who was first declared an Indian by a Foreigners' Tribunal, but five years later, ruled foreigner by the same tribunal, NDTV reports.

The high court bench of Justices N Kotiswar Singh and Malasri Nandi rebuked the tribunal saying that the bench did not understand how the tribunal proceeded to examine the case again. The court said as per the 2019 Supreme Court ruling on Abdul Kuddus Vs Union of India, the principle of res judicata was applicable in this case, even if a Foreigners' Tribunal is involved.

Res judicata prohibits reopening a case by the same parties once a ruling has been made. Proceeding even after this precedent is illegal, the HC said. As per Article 141 of the Constitution, a Supreme Court declared law would apply to every court and tribunal in the country, the HC bench said.

The court further said that the tribunal was aware that the person's identity was the same both times, and thus the second order does not sustain.

The woman, Hasina Bhanu, was declared an illegal migrant and put in a detention camp inside Tezpur jail on October 19, after the Assam Border Police sent her to the Foreigners' Tribunal for the second time. Hasina approached the high court and pleaded that the same tribunal had declared her Indian in August 2016.

NDTV reports that there were many cases before where police investigations and Foreigners' Tribunal orders have reached courts, and the courts named those declared as foreigners as Indian citizens.

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