The Supreme Court on Thursday suggested to the Government to enforce mandatory Multi-Purpose National Identity Card (MNIC) system across the country to check illegal immigration, particularly from Bangladesh.
Hearing petitions seeking direction to the Government to take stringent steps to stop Bangladeshi infiltration, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, said, once the MNIC scheme and National Register for Indian Citizens (NRIC) were implemented; it would be easier to identify illegal immigrants.
The bench said, “there should be a situation where those not having I-cards should not be able to get any facility – education, medical service, jobs and or any other benefit.”
The court said it should be left to the village panchayats and other local bodies to do it and such I-cards can be used for all kinds of purposes, including social welfare schemes and can lead to more effective e-governance.
Additional Solicitor General Amarendra Sharan told the court that the government was already working on a pilot MNIC Project.
The court, which is hearing two public Interest Litigations (PILs) highlighting the national security and socio-economic problems created by the influx of Bangladeshi nationals, asked the Government to submit a status report on MNIC’s pilot project in eight weeks.
Maintaining that it was not very easy to implement such a scheme in a country like India, the court clarified that it was not possible for it to give any direction to the government.
The PILs filed by India Lawyers Forum for Civil Liberties and Imagine India alleged that two crore Bangladeshis were illegally living in India, aggravating its socio-economic and security problems.