SC pulls up Assam over deporting of illegal foreigners

Last Updated 19 February 2019, 09:12 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Assam government over its efforts to identify and deport the illegal foreigners.

"Why haven't you done anything for the last 50 years," the top court asked.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also pointed to the state government that as many as 40 lakh people were found as illegal immigrants after the massive exercise of preparing the National Register for Citizens.

"Out of 40 lakh illegal immigrants in Assam, your foreigner tribunals detected only 52,000. And out of those, you were able to deport only 166. How do you expect people to have confidence in your government," the bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The top court was hearing a petition by ex IAS officer and activist Harsh Mander alleging subhuman conditions in the detention centre for foreigners in Assam.

Mehta, for his part, maintained that all those 40 lakh people left out of the NRC in Assam can't be termed as illegal immigrants. "They can be prima facie called so but the non-inclusion in NRC ipso facto can't make one illegal foreigner," he submitted.

He also countered the contentions that the conditions in detention centres were sub-human.

(Published 19 February 2019, 09:06 IST)

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