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'Bangladesh Nationals Allegedly Abducted And Brought To India': Delhi High Court Seeks MHA Memo On Deportation Of Illegal Migrants

Aaratrika Bhaumik
15 July 2021 5:00 PM GMT
Bangladesh Nationals Allegedly Abducted And Brought To India: Delhi High Court Seeks MHA Memo On Deportation Of Illegal Migrants
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to share in a sealed cover its office memorandum pertaining to the deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The Court was adjudicating upon a plea filed by three Bangladeshi nationals seeking to be repatriated to their country of origin after being allegedly abducted and brought to India. The order was passed after the Centre...

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to share in a sealed cover its office memorandum pertaining to the deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

The Court was adjudicating upon a plea filed by three Bangladeshi nationals seeking to be repatriated to their country of origin after being allegedly abducted and brought to India. The order was passed after the Centre informed the Court that the memorandums enumerating the procedure for repatriation were confidential in nature.

Justice Rekha Palli took on record the counter affidavit filed by the State detailing the procedure required to be adopted by the petitioners. Accordingly, the petitioners were directed to file a brief reply within a week. The matter is slated to be heard next on August 8.

In the aforementioned counter affidavit, the State submitted that since India shares a porous border with Bangladesh, India frequently faces an influx of Bangladeshi nationals through illegal means. In this regard, the Home Ministry has issued specific guidelines for repatriation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. The State further contended that the task of detection and identification of such illegal migrants has been assigned to the Delhi police.

Since the concerned petitioners do not possess any travel documents such as passport, valid visa they can be repatriated to their native country only after verification of their nationality, the State submitted.

Background:

In the instant case, the petitioners alleged that they had been sedated and forcefully brought to India without their knowledge or consent by certain acquaintances. On March 10, 2021 the petitioners regained consciousness and found themselves to be lying at a railway station in Delhi. Consequently, they visted the Kamla Market Police station wherein they apprised the police authorities about the unfortunate turn of events. Accordingly, they were provided food and shelter at the Himmat Garh Night shelter in Delhi. The following day they were shifted to a homeless shelter at Asaf Ali road.

Representations were made on behalf of the petitioners to the Bangladesh High Commission as well as other government agencies of Bangladesh and India by a social activist. However, till date no response has been received by the concerned authorities.

Averments in the plea:

The plea contended that the petitioners were in severe distress and wished to return to Bangladesh and reunite with their families at the earliest.

"There is a serious question of law which is being raised in the present petition and that is, how should an alien be treated by a country, when the said alien has been kidnapped/abducted from his own country to this country", the plea stated.

The plea also made a reference to the various rights conferred upon aliens by the 'Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals who are not nationals of the country in which they live' adopted vide the General Assembly of United Nations resolution 40/144 of December 13 1985.

Upholding the protection of human rights for individuals who are not nationals of the country in which they live, Article 5 of the Declaration imposes a host of rights which should be applicable in the present case, the plea stated.

Some of the rights and obligations conferred by Article 5 and accordingly mentioned in the plea are as follows- the right to life and security of a person irrespective of nationality, right to protection against arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, the right to leave the country and the right to equal protection of the law.

Further Article 6 of the Declaration also obligates States to not subject aliens to any form of torture or degrading treatment and punishment.

Accordingly, the petitioners prayed before the Court to pass directions to ensure their safe return to their native towns in Bangladesh. The petitioners also implored the Court to issue an order in order to ensure that they are not arrested as they are not in possession of their passport or visa. The Court was also requested to initiate an investigation regarding their alleged abduction.

The petitioners are represented by Advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra. Advocate Naushad Ahemed Khan, Standing Counsel (Govt. of Delhi) and Advocate Dev P Bhardwaj appeared for the State.

Case Title: Ibrahim Ali v. Union of India

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