GUWAHATI, May 11 � With Assam not witnessing any improvement in the process of detection and deportation of foreigners, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) general secretary Sarbananda Sonowal, whose petition led to the scrapping of the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act by the Supreme Court, is planning to approach the apex court again seeking justice.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Sonowal said that he had to fight a five-year legal battle in the Supreme Court for the scrapping of the IMDT Act, which was a major hurdle in the way of detection and deportation of foreigners from the state. But even after five years of scrapping of the Act, the situation had not improved mainly because of lack of sincerity on the part of the Centre and the State Government in dealing with the problem. He said that under the circumstances, he was planning to approach the Supreme Court again seeking justice.
Sonowal said that while scrapping the IMDT Act, the Supreme Court had directed the Government to set up additional tribunals under the provisions of the Foreigners' Act to expedite the process of detection and deportation of foreigners from the state. Though the Government increased the number of tribunals to 32 and decided to increase the number to 36, necessary facilities were not extended to the tribunals to ensure speedy trial of the cases. He said that because of lack of sincerity of the Government, more than 2.60 lakh cases were now pending before the tribunals and the very purpose was defeated.
The AGP general secretary pointed out that most of the tribunals even did not have judges not to speak of other required facilities including adequate staff. Reacting to the Government�s claim that judges were not keen on working in the tribunals, Sonowal called upon the Government to make public the names of the judges who refused to work in the tribunals. He said that the Government could solve the problem of shortage of judges by appointing persons from the judicial service in the tribunals.
Sonowal further alleged that the Government was not interested in solving the problem of infiltration of foreigners and that was why no step had been taken to activate the tribunals to ensure speedy disposal of the cases under the provisions of the Foreigners' Act.