While allowing State of Assam further time to indicate the progress made on the diplomatic level as for the larger issue of deportation of "declared foreigners" and setting up of Additional Foreigners' Tribunals in the state of Assam is concerned, the Supreme Court came to rescue of those who have spent long period of detention in the Assam detention centers' and are awaiting their deportation and said that those amongst them who have completed more than three years of detention should be released.
Bench of Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the matter of foreigners kept in detention centers in Assam in the case of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee v. Union of India & Anr..
Court laid down the following conditions for the release of detenues who have completed more than three years of detention:
· A quarterly report to be submitted by the Superintendent of Police (Border) to the Foreigners Tribunal regarding appearance of such released declared foreigner to concerned Police Station and in case of violation of condition, the DFN will be apprehended and produced before Foreigners Tribunal.
Court has further asked the State of Assam to place on record a detailed scheme, in consultation with the Gauhati High Court (on the administrative side), with regard to the constitution of Foreigners Tribunals including appointment of Members, staff etc. It has also asked for record of such details as soon as possible while giving the State liberty to make a mention of the matter before the Vacation Bench.
Matter is to be listed in the month of July unless mentioned otherwise by the counsel for the State.
This is the same petition which was filed by social activist Harsh Mander first, highlighting the miserable plight of detenues in detention centers of Assam while employing services of Prashant Bhushan as counsel.
Court on May 2nd had dropped Mander's name as the litigant to the petition after he had sought the recusal of CJI Ranjan Gogoi from the case. Mander's name was substituted by Supreme Court Legal Services Authority and Prashant Bhushan was made amicus curiae.
Earlier Apex court had directed Assam's Chief Secretary Alok Kumar to file an affidavit regarding intentions of the State to take measures for the release of detenues. Court had noted that foreigners cannot be kept in detention for "indefinite period" and had asked Assam government to apprise court of methods it is considering for their release.
Read the Order Here