The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Assam government over inadequacies in the functioning of the foreigners' tribunal and sought details on it by March 27. A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna was informed by the Assam government that in past 10 years over 50,000 migrants were declared as foreigners by the tribunal.
“This has gone too far. This has become a joke,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said during the hearing. “How seriously Assam is considering this matter is quite evident from the absence of any officer to brief you in the matter. An officer sitting here (resident commissioner) files affidavit on detention centres in Assam,” the Supreme Court bench said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Assam government, said around 900 people were kept in six detention centres of the state. The bench said the state government would have to specify whether the foreigners tribunals functioning in the state were adequate and how they were functioning.
“You must have gone through the order passed by this court in 2005 where this court has said Assam is facing the threat of external aggression... We would like to know what Government of India and Assam has done about it to meet this threat of external aggression,” the top court said on the issue as it recalled its 2005 order.
The top court said at present it was not insisting on presence of Assam chief secretary in the court, but would like to know through an affidavit filed by the state whether foreigners tribunals functioning in the state were adequate or not.