Case related to the plight and living conditions of foreigners in Assam camps.
New Delhi: Taking a serious view of the submission that at least 70,000 declared illegal migrants in Assam have vanished or mingled with the local population before they could be deported, the Supreme Court summoned the state chief secretary, on Monday, for his personal appearance on April 8.
Expressing his displeasure at the chief secretary’s absence at the court on Monday, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told solicitor general (SG) Tushar Mehta that the chief secretary (CS) should be present at the court on April 8 and he would not be allowed to return to the state till the court so permitted.
When the CJI observed that a non-bailable warrant would be issued to secure his presence, the SG assured the court that he would ensure the appearance of the chief secretary on the next date of hearing.
The Assam government, in its affidavit, admitted that 70,000 individuals who were declared foreigners by the tribunal are untraceable now. The case related to the plight and the living conditions of foreigners in Assam detention centres.
In the last hearing, the CJI told the SG that “only 52,000 have been declared as foreigners, though the NRC identified that there are 40 lakh illegal immigrants. Further, only 166 have been deported so far.”
The court wanted to know from the state and the Centre an action plan on improving the living conditions at the detention centres. It also wanted to know as to how long it would take for the illegal immigrants to be deported.
The SG’s submission that 70,000 people have vanished, irked the bench. It observed that if declared foreigners could vanish like this, what would happen to those whose proceedings are yet to be finalised by the foreigners’ tribunal?
The SG assured the court that the state was doing its best to deal with the problem of illegal migrants in Assam.