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SC asks Centre for action plan in 2 weeks

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 19 � The Supreme Court has given two weeks� time to the Centre to furnish an action plan on illegal infiltration, deportation of illegal migrants, sealing of the India-Bangladesh border and update of National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The direction of a Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohington F Nariman came after a daylong hearing today. The Centre had sought four weeks� time to come up with an action plan.

The Division Bench also gave two weeks� time to the Assam Government to submit a report elaborating the status of those whose names do not figure in the updated NRC. The State Government has to submit a plan as to what it proposes to do with such people.

The Supreme Court today heard the State Government�s counsel Joydeep Gupta, who opposed the plea challenging the validity of Section 6 A of the Citizenship Act. A bunch of petitioners including Asom Sanmilita Mahasangha and Ahom Sangha have opposed the cut-off date of March 25, 1971 as per Assam Accord.

He mentioned the problem the government is likely to face in case the cut-off date is shifted. He said the change in cut-off date is not acceptable to Assam Government.

As reported, the Centre has also opposed the plea, urging the Supreme Court not to entertain the petition, which challenged a provision of the Citizenship Act.

Additional Solicitor General NK Kaul told the Bench that the Section 6-A of the Citizenship Act was inserted into the principal Act in 1985 and the plea ha been filed nearly three decades after the amendment.

The Centre had inserted Section 6A in the Indian Citizenship Act after the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985, which had stated that migrants entering India after March 1971 would be detected and deported to Bangladesh.

The Supreme Court had, however, taken a serious note of the petitioner�s argument that �cultural and political� conflicts were being caused in Assam, allegedly due to the presence of immigrants.

The court had observed that a �mass of humanity� had filed the petitions seeking �protection of rights under Article 21 and group rights.� �We can�t shut out the petition at the threshold on grounds of limitation� said the court.

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