New Delhi, April 9, 2019
The Supreme Court on April 9th, 2019 directed the Assam government to apprise it of possible “ways and means” that can be adopted for releasing the illegal foreigners who have been kept in the state’s detention centres for a very long period.
It may be mentioned that the apex court on April 1st, 2019 had pulled up the Assam government after its Chief Secretary failed to be present in court to answer queries on foreigners issue during a hearing of a plea on the condition of detention centres in Assam and the prolonged detention of foreigners.
During the hearing, the Assam government stated that around 70,000 migrants who were declared foreigners have merged with the local crowd in the state. The state failed to satisfy the Supreme Court over what steps it has taken to detect such migrants living as locals now.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also took note of the Assam government’s submissions that the observations during the hearing of this case may have some impact in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Assam and sought the hearing of the plea after April 23rd, 2019. The Lok Sabha elections (Phase 3) in Assam would be held on April 23rd, 2019.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, shifted the hearing of the PIL on April 25th, 2019. The bench further directed the Assam chief secretary to conduct a meeting of all stakeholders in the case.
The Assam chief secretary has been directed by the bench to come out with an affidavit on or before April 23rd, 2019 giving details on releasing over 900 illegal foreigners in several detention centres there.