SC pulls up Centre, Assam on status of border fencing
Expressing dissatisfaction over the Centre’s and Assam government’s failure to fence the porous India- Bangladesh border, the Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a senior advocate as commissioner to inspect the area and report back on the status of the work.india Updated: May 14, 2015 01:11 IST
Expressing dissatisfaction over the Centre’s and Assam government’s failure to fence the porous India- Bangladesh border, the Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a senior advocate as commissioner to inspect the area and report back on the status of the work.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi observed that the two governments were “dragging their feet” on the project resulting in the massive influx of illegal migrants. The court noted this would lead to children of thousands of Bangladeshis — who are illegally in India — becoming citizens of India by default.
Appointing senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika as a commissioner, it asked him to submit his preliminary findings within three weeks and a final report by June 30.
The order came as the top court heard a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha and other organisations seeking a directive to the Centre and Assam to update the National Register of Citizens with respect to Assam by taking into account the electoral rolls prior to March 24, 1971. The bench noted the Centre’s affidavit on the measures taken to prevent the influx was not satisfactory.
The court was even unhappy with the Guwahati high court’s (HC) failure to appoint chairpersons and members to the 63 special tribunals set-up by the state on SC’s direction earlier. It ordered the HC to comply with the directions within 45 days.
On a fresh application, raising the issue of citizenship status of children born to illegal migrants who crossed the border after March 25, 1971, the court directed the governments to explain within four weeks as to how it intends to deal with the situation.
First Published: May 14, 2015 01:10 IST