The Supreme Court on Thursday (7 December) directed the Union Government to provide data regarding the influx of illegal immigrants into Assam and the North-Eastern states post 25 March 1971.
The Court additionally instructed the Centre to disclose the measures implemented administratively by the government to address illegal immigration into the North Eastern states, especially Assam.
Details have to be furnished in regard to extent of border fencing and the estimated timelines to complete border fencing.
A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant, MM Sundresh, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra passed the direction while hearing a batch of petitions challenging Section 6A of the Citizenship Act 1955, which was inserted to give effect to the Assam Accord of 1985.
During the hearing, the Court expressed its intention to deal with the issue of illegal immigration seriously, irrespective of its stance on Section 6A.
The bench has also sought the following details:
1. Number of persons to whom citizenship has been granted under Section 6A with reference to the time period of persons who came into Assam between 1.1.1966-25.3.1971
2. How many persons have been detected to be foreigners under the Foreigners Tribunals Order 1964 with reference to the above period?
3. The estimated inflow of illegal migrants into India including but not confined to Assam
4. With respect of persons who entered after 25 March 1971- the total number of foreigners tribunals set by the Union, total number of cases disposed of, number of cases pending as of date, the average time taken for disposal of cases, the number of cases pending before Gauhati High Court.
The Court instructed that the affidavit should be submitted before the next Monday.
In cases where certain details are needed from the state government, such information will be provided by Assam. However, a common affidavit be filed by the State of Assam and the Union of India, Livelaw reported.
The Bangladesh liberation war began on 25 March 1971. As per Section 6A of CAA, persons of Indian origin who migrated to Assam from the present day Bangladesh region between 01.01.1966 to 25.03.1971 are eligible to obtain Indian citizenship.
However, those who migrated to Assam post 25 March 1971, are not entitled to Indian citizenship and are subject to deportation as foreigners.
Foreigners Tribunals have been established to determine whether persons are illegal migrants or Indian citizens in reference to the cut-off date of 25.03.1971.
The Court is hearing the challenge made by Assam indigenous groups to Section 6A to the extent it allows migrants who entered Assam between 01.01.1966 to 25.03.1971 to seek Indian citizenship.
This is the third day of hearing, which is ongoing.
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