GUWAHATI, July 3 � Believe it or not � not on a single instance has the Gauhati High Court been informed that an illegal Bangladeshi migrant could be deported to Bangladesh after his/her detection.
�The only measure adopted -- that too in the rarest of the rare cases -- is to �push back� such foreign nationals to Bangladesh, facilitating his or her coming back to Assam once again, even to the extent of invoking writ jurisdiction of this court,� the court observed in a hard-hitting judgement and order over a writ petition (C) no.2358/2011 on Friday.
Coming down heavily on the State Government for failing to apprehend even a declared foreigner, the court questioned the sincerity of the authorities in addressing the burning issue of cross-border infiltration from Bangladesh.
�The pace, manner and the eagerness in which the issue is being dealt with by the powers that be, have virtually rendered detection and deportation of foreign nationals meaningless�the entire system of detection and deportation of declared illegal Bangladeshi migrants has become a mockery, and both the Union and the State Governments, except making tall promises, have played the role of silent spectators to this never-ending and persistent threat to the security, integrity and sovereignty of the nation, coupled with the threat of making the indigenous people of Assam a minority community in their own State�,� Justice BK Sharma observed in the order.
Tracing the inordinate delay in the proceedings against suspected foreign nationals to insufficient and ill-equipped Foreigners� Tribunals, the court said that the tribunals lacked the required infrastructural facilities despite hundred per cent Central funding. It also took exception to the adjournments granted by the tribunals even when there was no appearance on behalf of the petitioners on many occasions.
Asking the governments to spell out the methodology towards deportation of foreign nationals since mere declaration of a person as foreigner was not the end but a means to an end, the court said �if it is not possible to do something positive, effective and meaningful, they may declare the same instead of spending crores of rupees in the process, making a mockery of the entire system.�
Charging both the Union and State Governments with lack of interest in the cases, the court said that no counter-affidavits are filed unless there is clear-cut direction of the court whereas as per requirement once a notice is issued, counter-affidavits need to be filed.
��both the governments are not interested in such cases and rather would be happy if the references are answered against the State Government, so that the foreign nationals can get the status of Indian citizenship, which needles to say, is for obvious reasons,� the court said.
On the writ petition, the court directed the Superintendent of Police, Morigaon, to apprehend the petitioner, Ajijur Rahman, and to keep him in a detention camp till his deportation. It also asked the Deputy Commissioner, Morigaon, to ensure deletion of his name including those of his alleged parents from the voters list.
�If for any reason, his name was included in the voters list after 2001 when the reference was made to the then IM(DT), he will also furnish report as to how his name could be included in the voters list during pendency of the proceedings,� it said.