Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act
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This article is written by Shreya Malhotra, currently pursuing BBA LLB from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. This article explains important provisions, amendments, powers and liabilities under the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000.

Introduction

The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 was authorized with the goal of confronting the issue of the arrival of countless travellers with no legitimate travel documents by the carriers in violation of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. The Immigration (Carrier’s Liability) Act, 2000 oversees the entry, stay, movement, travel through and exit of foreign nationals in the country. Where the capable authority is of the view that any carrier has acquired an individual into India, in violation of the provisions mentioned under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and its rules, then that authority may by order impose a penalty of Rs. 1,00,000 on the carrier, though the carrier will be provided with a chance of being heard before the order is passed. The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 has also been amended in 2005 in order to meet the international obligation of exempting any carrier or class of carrier from the application of this Act.

Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act

The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 was passed by the Parliament and received the assent of the President of India on 11th December. The Act provides definitions of the keywords under Section 2 which have been used throughout such as “carrier”, “competent authority” and “prescribed”. The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 was amended in 2005 which has been discussed below. Similarly, the Rules of 2007 and Order of 2007 have also been briefly discussed below.

Amendment Act of 2005 

The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Amendment Bill, 2005 came up with the inclusion of two principle things. To start with, the short title to the Act which expressed that the Act will presently be tended to as the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Amendment Act, 2005. Another embedded thing was Section 3A which gave the “Power to exempt”. The Bill was then made into an amendment on 15th September 2005. The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 was amended to enable the Central Government to absolve any carrier or class of carrier from the operations of all or any of the arrangements of this Act upon such conditions as may be indicated in the order. The Amendment Act of 2005 additionally proposed to offer authority to the Central Government that it can, whenever necessary, alter or cancel such order. Now, by the amendment Act of 2005, the Central Government comes into power and would now be in a state to complete its international obligations or commitments.

Order of 2007 

The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Order, 2007 provided for certain orders to be made in making use of powers conferred by Section 3A of the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000. This Order of 2007 mainly expressed the short title to the order that the order will be addressed as the Immigration (Carrier’s Liability) Order, 2007; it’s beginning that the order shall be live from the date of its publication and; the degree that the order will be relevant to entire India.

The Order 2007 then provided, certain carriers conveying the travellers who will be excluded and the arrangements of the said Act won’t be concerned them such as, travellers who have arrived on an aircraft or ship which, on leaving, had been diverted to India for reasons outside the ability to control of the transporter; if the transporter is conveying travellers going on forged documents and if such forgery cannot be identified without the assistance of specialists etc.

Rules of 2007

Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Rules, 2007 provided certain rules in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 8 of the Immigration (Carriers Liability) Act, 2000. The Rules also incorporate the short title that these rules shall be pronounced as the ‘Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Rules, 2007 and the commencement of these rules shall become active on their publication date. The Rules additionally gave the incorporation of the definition of “Act” which implies the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000. The primary Rules were with respect to the methodology of the fees to be paid for an appeal, if there’s any penalty amount to be paid by the party then the procedure regarding the deposit of the same and last rule provides for the address so as to where to file the said appeal.

Important provisions

Section 4

This Section provides for an appeal to be made against the order under Section 3 and its time period.

Section 5

This Section provides the ways in which penalty can be recovered.

Section 6

This Section provides for the bar of legal proceedings against the Central Government, any competent authority etc.

Section 7

This Section provides that the provisions or any of the rules or orders of this Act shall not be in derogation of Acts 16 of 1939, 34 of 1920 and 31 of 1946.

Section 9

This Section provides for the rules to be laid before each House of Parliament.

Section 4 – Appeal

On every order which is made by the Central Government under Section 3 of this Act, an appeal shall be made against that order to the Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry of the Government of India (Sub-section 1) and each such appeal shall be inside a thirty days’ time frame from the date of the order advanced against. In any case, if the time of appeal is not kept up by the appellant and his explanation behind the postponement is certifiable, at that point the appellate authority may furnish him with a further augmentation of thirty days to appeal (Sub-section 2). Every appeal will be endorsed on a prescribed fee (Sub-section 4) and the parties will also be given a fair chance of being heard and afterwards the appellate authority subsequent to making proper inquiry shall pass the adequate order (Sub-section 3).

Section 5 – Recovery of penalty due to Government

In the event that a penalty has been imposed on the transporter and it neglects to take care of the punishment i.e. if he fails to pay the penalty, the competent authority then may in order to recoup that sum use the way of seizing, confining or selling (i) the aircraft or the ship; or (ii) any of the goods on the ship or aircraft which belongs to the transporter. 

Section 6 – Bar of legal proceedings

If any competent authority, any official of the Central Government, the Central Government itself or some other individual acts arranged by playing out its obligations, releasing any functions or while practising any powers in accordance with some basic honesty or in the event that it is expected to be done under this Act or any standard, at that point they can’t be arraigned and no suit will lie against them.

Section 7 – Application of Acts 16 of 1939, 34 of 1920 and 31 of 1946 not barred.

All the provisions, orders and rules made under the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 shall not be in contravention of, the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939, the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Section 9 – Rules to be laid before the Parliament

This Section makes it mandatory that each and every rule that is made under the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000, shall be set down before each House of Parliament during its sitting for a complete-time of thirty days, which may be composed in one session or in two or more progressive sessions. In the event that both the Houses come to an agreement to make any alteration to any of the rules or they decide that a particular rule ought not to occur, then that particular rule will take place either in the altered form or will not take place in any form. However, every other change or abrogation shall, therefore, be no matter what to the authenticity of something previously accomplished under that rule.

Powers and Liabilities

Section 3

This section deals with the liability of carriers of passengers which is brought in India.

Section 3A

This section provides the power to exempt a carrier or a class of carrier.

Section 8

This section provides power to the Central Government in order to make rules.

Section 10

This section provides power to the Central Government in order to remove the obstacles.

Section 3 – The liability of carriers of passenger brought into India

This Section mainly states that if according to the view of a competent authority, any carrier brings any individual which is conflicting to the arrangements of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, at that point the transporter will be held liable for a penalty of Rs. 1,00,000 as a punishment for his offence and the competent authority shall pass the order for the same. Although, the liable carrier will get a fair opportunity of being heard in the issue before passing of any order.

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Section 3A – Power to exempt

This particular Section has been embedded through the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Amendment Act, 2005, which was embraced on 15th September 2005. The Section provides the ability to the Central Government to exclude any carrier or class of carrier either from all the duties or operations or any of the operations of the provisions of this Act. In the event that the central government is of the view that the exemption of any carrier or class of carrier is vital for the interest of the public in general or it might satisfy an international duty then the Central Government may absolve such carrier or class of carrier from the operations of all or any of the provisions of this Act, it may do the same by the order notified in the Official Gazette and subject to such conditions as may be indicated in the order.

The Central Government additionally has the ability to cancel or alter such order, if it finds it to be important. Although any such action should take place without bias to the arrangements of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and its rules (Sub-section 1). Each order that is made under this Section is to be put before each House of Parliament, as soon as it is made (Sub-section 2).

Section 8 – Power to make rules

Whenever any Act is made, it is made with an intention to fulfil certain objectives or motives and in order to fulfil those objectives certain rules are prepared to comply. Those rules are generally made by the competent authority. Similarly, Section 8 provides that the Central Government has the power to make rules in order to fulfil the aim or objectives of this Act, and this may be done by a simple notification in the Official Gazette by the Central Government (Sub-section 1). The rules which are to be made can be for the purpose of payment of the fees which is to be paid in case of appeals as mentioned under sub-section (4) of section 4, or the rules can likewise be made for some other issue which is fundamental or is prescribed (Sub-section 2).

Section 10 – Power to remove difficulties

If any problem occurs in carrying out the provisions of this Act, this Section gives the power in the hands of the Central Government, that it may do anything not conflicting with such provisions for the motive of removing the complications, by making order within the period of 2 years from the beginning of this Act (Sub-section 1). Similarly, every order made under this Section shall be laid down before each House of Parliament, as soon as it is made (Sub-section 2).

Conclusion

The Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000 still does not completely fulfil its purpose. There is a need for amendment or a new set of standards to be implicated in order to prevent the travel of foreigners with no valid documents. Seeing the case of 2013, the bureau of immigration fined several airlines with a penalty of a total of Rs. 50 lakhs who were carrying the passengers to Chennai in the infringement of the Immigration (Carriers’ Liability) Act, 2000. However, considerably in the wake of imposing such huge penalties, there are still carriers who convey travellers without appropriately checking their records. Also, this is not the only case yet there are numerous different cases too where carriers regularly bring travellers to the city from foreign countries without checking that they carry valid travel documents or are entitled to the visa-on-arrival arrangement. This causes an urgent need to implement more stringent laws and not just imposing a penalty on the carriers.

References

  • https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/tag/immigration-carriers-liability-act-2000/
  • https://vakilsearch.com/advice/immigration-laws-policies-india/
  • https://www.latestlaws.com/bare-acts/central-acts-rules/public-related-laws/immigration-carriers-liability-act2000/immigration-carriers-liability-rules-2007/
  • https://www.latestlaws.com/bare-acts/central-acts-rules/public-related-laws/immigration-carriers-liability-act2000/immigration-carriers-liability-order-2007/
  • https://www.latestlaws.com/bare-acts/central-acts-rules/public-related-laws/immigration-carriers-liability-act2000/immigration-carriers-liability-amendment-act-2005/
  • https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2370/1/A1920-34.pdf
  • https://amielegal.com/immigration-laws-in-india/
  • http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/259/Immigration-Laws-in-India.html
  • https://lawyerslaw.org/the-immigration-carriers-liability-act-2000/
  • https://www.legalcrystal.com/act/51537/immigration-carriers-liability-act-2000-complete-act

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