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Deportation Of Illegal Migrants Is Of Paramount Importance, In National Interest: Patna High Court Directs Govt To Sensitize People Of Bihar

Sparsh Upadhyay
28 Aug 2021 3:41 PM GMT
Deportation Of Illegal Migrants Is Of Paramount Importance, In National Interest: Patna High Court Directs Govt To Sensitize People Of Bihar
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Emphasizing that deportation of illegal migrants is of paramount importance and in the national interest, the Patna High Court recently directed the Bihar State Government to specify steps taken to sensitize people of Bihar for identification and deportation of the persons suspected to be illegal migrants.The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar was dealing with a case...

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Emphasizing that deportation of illegal migrants is of paramount importance and in the national interest, the Patna High Court recently directed the Bihar State Government to specify steps taken to sensitize people of Bihar for identification and deportation of the persons suspected to be illegal migrants.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar was dealing with a case wherein two minor girls, who undisputedly were foreign national, were housed at the After Care Home, Patna and for a considerably long period no action was taken by the State in pursuing the mater for their repatriation.

However, with the intervention of the Court, the process was expedited and completed and therefore, the issue of establishment of detention centres in terms of the manual issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi by the Bihar Government arose before the Court.

Read more about the case here: No Proper Response To The Queries By Court: Patna High Court Warns Contempt Action Against Union Home Ministry Officials

Now, on August 16, the Bihar Government filed an affidavit informing the Court that the Government had committed itself for setting up of detention centres on the lines of Chapter 2.6 of Model Detention Centre/Holding Centres/Camp Manual, 2019.

Taking into account the affidavit, the Court noted that the same was vague insofar as-

(a) the time frame for setting up of detention center is concerned; and

(b) whether the temporary detention center is equipped with the requisite minimum infrastructure stipulated under Chapter-4 of the Rules referred to supra.

Therefore, the Court called for a fresh affidavit clarifying such a position.

Further, the Court also directed the Bihar Government to apprise the Court of the steps taken as follows:

  • For sensitizing the general populace of Bihar, making them aware of the mechanism in place for identification and deportation of the persons suspected to be illegal migrants, more so from Bangladesh, AND
  • The fact that such persons are required to be immediately deported for their entry in India is illegal under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and that their custody is required to be immediately handed over to the Nodal Officer, Government of West Bengal, in terms of the communication dated 1 st of February, 2013, issued by the Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of India.

The Court further underscored that the Foreigners Act, 1946 imposes an obligation upon the master of the vessel as also the passengers traveling therein and the housekeepers/lodgers permitting accommodation to such foreigners whose entry in India is contrary to law. Affidavit to such an effect be also filed.

  • Whether the Government has worked out any mechanism for furnishing information on-line i.e. through digital mode to the concerned Agency;
  • As to whether the record sought to be maintained under Sections 6 and 7 of the Foreigners Act, 1946 is digitalized;
  • As to whether there is any mechanism in place for facilitating furnishing such information online; and
  • Whether Authorized Officers under the Foreigners Act, 1946 Act are verifying the record and monitoring the movement of any unauthorized persons or not.

Lastly, the Court also observed thus:

"...we are of the considered view that such process of sensitizing people, more so along with the border areas, must be carried vigorously both through electronic and print media as also associating the public-spirited persons/N.G.O's for the deportation of illegal migrants is of paramount importance and in the national interest."

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on September 4.

Case title - Marium Khatoon v. The State of Bihar, through the Principal Secretary Home (Police), Patna, Bihar

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