SC pulls up Assam govt on illegal foreigners

"What have you done so far? How will you track down those 70,000 declared illegal foreigners who have merged with the population," a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. (DH File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday castigated the Assam government on its failure to come up with a plan or future course of action to track down about 70,000 declared illegal foreigners and thousands other undeclared ones from the state.

"What have you done so far? How will you track down those 70,000 declared illegal foreigners who have merged with the population," a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

"What is the number of undeclared illegal foreigners? How would you trace them? Where are they," the bench, also comprising Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, asked the law officer, appearing for the state government.

Mehta wanted the court to adjourn the matter.

On this, the bench asked him, "Where is your chief secretary. We wanted his presence during the hearing. Should we issue non-bailable warrant against him?"

"We want you to tell what are you planning to do identify the people merged in the population. That is why we wanted chief secretary to be hear. No amount of disappearance and non-cooperation would help. He is playing around the court. You are just dragging the matter," the bench said.

The court put the PIL filed by IAS-turned- activist Harish Mander highlighting poor conditions of detention centres for illegal foreigners in Assam, for hearing on April 8.

The court also asked the state government if it has so far been pushing back illegal foreigners to Bangladesh without verification.

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SC pulls up Assam govt on illegal foreigners

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