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.
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.
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.
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.