Detention centre case: CJI Ranjan Gogoi pulls up Assam chief secy
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday pulled up Assam chief secretary Alok Kumar and threatened to initiate departmental and contempt proceedings against him for an affidavit proposing release of foreigners held in detention for five years or more after furnishing bonds and biometrics.
“You want to allow a man who is deemed to be a foreigner to stay after he executes a bond. You want the Supreme Court to be a party to an illegal order?’’ Gogoi asked.
“Your government has not succeeded in following Constitution and you expect the court to be a party to it. You are asking the Supreme Court to be a party to an illegal order.”
Gogoi threatened to order departmental proceedings against Kumar. “You have no right to continue in office.” He added Kumar does not know what he is doing. “He is signing on dotted lines. Chief Secretary, you are in serious trouble. We are going to issue a notice to you for making slanderous statements against the law,” said Gogoi after going through the Assam government’s affidavit on the status of foreigners in detentions centres in the state.
“Foreigners who have completed five years in detention centres may be released subject to furnishing security of ~ 5 lakh, verifying his address, biometric of his eyes etc,’’ the affidavit said.Gogoi said the foreigners, who are to be sent back to their countries, are staying illegally and have enrolled as voters. “Give us a figure of people, who have intermingled with the local populace. There are 900 foreigners in detention centres and more than one lakh twelve thousand who have mingled with the locals. They are on the electoral list and they are voting. Is this how your government is functioning?”
The court expressed displeasure over the fact that only four foreigners had been deported from Assam over the last three years. The court is hearing activist Harsh Mander’s petition about the dismal living conditions in Assam’s detention centres. A final draft of a National Register of Citizens excluded 4 million people from Assam as part of a drive against illegal immigrants in July 2018.