SC directs Centre to submit details of people identified as foreigners in Assam

NewsBharati    29-Jan-2019

New Delhi, January 29: Seeking a year wise break up, the Supreme Court in Monday sought information from the Centre and Assam on the number of people who after being declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal were deported in the last 10 years.

The Supreme Court is seeking information of the people declared foreigners by the tribunal in the last 10 years and in how many cases repatriation was tried and the outcome of that, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna sought information on the total number of detention centres and the inmates lodged there. The court also directed the competent authority to give details of the total number of detention centres and the inmates.

Besides this, the court sought information on whether all the inmates in the detention centres have been declared foreigners or they also include persons whose references are pending before the Foreigners Tribunal. The court observed that “if you cannot deport them to neighbouring countries, you cannot keep them in detention indefinitely”.

The court asked the Centre and state to file an affidavit with the information it sought within three weeks. The apex court had earlier issued a notice to the Centre and the Assam government on the plea.

The court`s order came on a PIL by a former bureaucrat turned activists Harsh Mander who had drawn the attention of the top court towards the plight of inmates in the camps. The Supreme court was notified that the inmates were poor and were not getting legal assistance to represent their case before the tribunal.

The court was told that an illegal entrant gets five years sentence under the Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, but people are lodged in the camps well beyond five years and are languishing there. Giving authorities three weeks’ time to furnish the information, the court directed the next listing of the matter on February 19.