Efforts to trace, deport illegal foreigners in Assam have been poor, unsatisfactory: State Chief Secretary tells SC

  1. Assam’s Chief Secretary has admitted to the Supreme Court that the state government’s performance to trace illegal foreigners and deport them had been lackadaisical and poor. The Supreme Court has directed the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit before April 25 suggesting measures for release of detenuees from Assam’s detention centres.
  2. Chief Secretary’s admission was in response to Supreme Court’s query on Assam government’s course of action to deal with illegal foreigners and their timely deportation. The SC is hearing a plea which raised the issue of dismal living conditions in the detention centres of Assam.
  3. An illegal foreigner is declared so by Foreigners Tribunals of Assam. Foreigners Tribunal (FT) was set up in Assam in 1964 through the Foreigners Tribunal Order 1964. The tribunals have been mandated with identifying the legal status of suspected foreigners in Assam.
  4. According to Citizenship Act 1955, an illegal migrant is a foreigner who enters the country without valid travel documents, like a passport and visa, or enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period. Foreigner is one who is not a citizen of India. Illegal migrants may be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.