The Gauhati High Court has issued certain general directions to be observed by all the Foreigners Detention Centers in Assam, while determining and releasing eligible detainees as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
On Monday, April 13, a bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar had ordered that all those detainees at detention centers of Assam who have been incarcerated for more than 2 years may be released on execution of personal bonds with two sureties.
The order was made while hearing an application moved by Assam-based NGO 'Justice and Liberty Initiative' in the suo moto case registered by the Supreme Court for decongestion of prisons in India, amid the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
To ensure smooth compliance with this direction, a bench of Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Ajit Borthakur of the Gauhati High Court registered a suo moto case and ordered:
The concerned Superintendent of Police (Border) will first take stock of the names and period of detention of such detenues under his/her jurisdiction claiming benefit of release on bail for having completed more than 2 years in detention and thereafter take necessary steps for their release on bail, subject to:
The above steps have to be taken within 7 days and the statistics of those detenues who have been released on bail after meeting with the said conditions/requirements have to be furnished before the court through the Senior Standing Counsel for the State on the next date of hearing.
The High Court has also ordered the jurisdictional Superintendent of Police (Border) to submit a quarterly report to the concerned Foreigners' Tribunal regarding appearance of the detenue before the concerned Police Station/Out Post, as mentioned above.
Notably, there are six detention centres in Assam, in which 802 persons are under detention, as told by Union Minister Nityanand Rai in Lok Sabha last month.
Last year, on May 10, 2019 the Supreme Court had directed that all detainees from detention centres who have spent more than 3 years in detention be released, subject to execution of bonds. The order dated April 13 modifies this order to the extent of reducing the detention period of three years to two years and the bond amount from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5,000.
Case Title: xxx v. In re: Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: WP(C) (Suo Moto) No. 1/2020
Quorum: Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Ajit Borthakur
Appearance: Asst. Solicitor General SC Keyal and Senior Standing Counsel UK Nair assisted by Advocate J Payeng
Click Here To Download Order