09 November, 2012
An Act to provide for the registration of foreigners in [India] .[8th April, 1939]
Whereas it is expedient to provide for the registration of foreigners entering, being present in, and departing from, [India] ; It is hereby enacted as follows:-
1. Short title and extent .(1) This Act may be called The Registration of Foreigners Act , 1939.
Adaptation of Laws Order, 1948 Registraton of Foreigners (Amendment) Act, 1949 (37 of 1949) Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950 Part B States (Laws) Act, 1951 (3 of 1951) Foreigners Laws (Amendment) Act, 1957 (11 of 1957) Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1985 (4 of 1986)
(2) It extends to the whole of India .]
2. Definitions .In this Act,
Statement of Objects and Reasons.-Apart from the fact that from the Census Report of 1931, it is known that in that year there were in India some 4,50,000 persons who stated that they had been born outside His Majesty's dominions; there is no information as to the number, nationality and whereabouts of foreigners in India, nor, in the absence of any statutory obligation on foreigners to report their presence and movements, it is possible to obtain such information. The only law which provides for the registration of foreigners as a class is that which is contained in sections 6 to 9 of the Foreigners Act (3 of 1864). Those provisions, however, are intended for use in emergency only, and, apart from this, even if they were brought into force, they would apply only to foreigners arriving, and not to those already resident in British India. In the majority of other countries, both within and outside the British Commonwealth, foreign visitors and residents are required to report their presence and movements to specified authorities, and the Governments of those countries are thereby possessed at all times of complete information as to the number and whereabouts of foreigners in their countries. It is desirable that the Government of India should also be at all times in possession of similar information, not only because it may be required for the purpose of national defence but also because, in its absence, it has from time to time been impossible to reply satisfactorily to questions asked in the Legislature and much difficulty and inconvenience has also been experienced in replying to enquiries as to the whereabouts of foreigners in India which have been received from their relatives.
Object & Reasons
The Bill which is based upon provisions contained in the Foreigners Act, 1864, the British Aliens Registration Act, 1914, and the British Aliens Order of 1920 is intended to provide the statutory powers necessary for the collection of such information.
[(a) foreigner means a person who is not a citizen of India;]
4. Burden of proof .If any question arises with reference to this Act or any rule made thereunder, whether any person is or is not a foreigner, or is not a foreigner of a particular class or description, the onus of proving that such person is not a foreigner or is not a foreigner of such particular class or description, as the case may be, shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), lie upon such person.
5. Penalties .Any person who contravenes, or attempts to contravene, or fails to comply with, any provision of any rule made under this Act shall be punished, if a foreigner, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both, or if not a foreigner, with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
6. Power to exempt from application of Act .The Central Government may, by [order] , declare that any or all of the provisions of the rules made under this Act shall not apply or shall apply only with such modifications or subject to such conditions as may be specified in the said order, to or in relation to any individual foreigner or any class or description of foreigner:
Provided that a copy of every such order shall be placed on the table of [ Parliament] as soon as may be after its promulgation.
7. Protection to persons acting under this Act .No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.
8. Application of other laws not barred .The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the provisions of the Foreigners Act,  and any other law for the time being in force.
 . Application of Act to Part B States .[Repealed by the Part B States (Laws) Act, 1951 (3 of 1951), section 3 and Schedule.]