SC directs Assam govt to notify ‘ways and means’ to release foreigners kept in detentionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/assam/supreme-court-directs-assam-government-to-notify-ways-and-means-to-release-foreigners-in-detention-centres-5666827/

SC directs Assam govt to notify ‘ways and means’ to release foreigners kept in detention

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the state government's plea that its observations can affect the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and deferred the hearing to April 25. Lok Sabha elections in Assam will be held on April 23.

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The bench, comprising of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna in addition to the Chief Justice, directed the Assam Chief Secretary to conduct a meeting of all stakeholders and come up with an affidavit with details on releasing over 900 illegal foreigners in several detention centers. (File Photo)

The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Assam government to inform the court about the “ways and means” of releasing foreigners kept in detention centers for prolonged periods of time, news agency PTI reported.

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, comprising of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, directed the Assam Chief Secretary to conduct a meeting of all stakeholders and come up with an affidavit with details on releasing over 900 illegal foreigners in several detention centers.

The bench took note of the state government’s plea that its observations can affect the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and deferred the hearing to April 25. Lok Sabha elections in Assam will be held on April 23.

Earlier the court had asked the central government to apprise it on several issues including as to how many functional detention centers are there in the state.

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Activist Harsh Mander filed a PIL on the plight of foreigners in detention centers. The plea alleged that they are kept in indefinite detention just because they are not Indians.

The court had on April 1 expressed unhappiness over declared foreign nationals absconding and amalgamating with the local population in Assam and summoned the state’s chief secretary.

The Assam government said that about 91,609 people have been declared as illegal foreigners by tribunals and 72,486 out of them were absconding, and 900 people were in detention centres.

The apex court accused the state government of “playing with the court” and sought to know how the persons, declared foreigners by the tribunal, have amalgamated with the local population.