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SC Issues Notice On Plea Against Regularising Entry Of Non-Muslim Migrants From Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan

Live Law News Network
27 Feb 2019 6:51 AM GMT
SC Issues Notice On Plea Against Regularising Entry Of  Non-Muslim Migrants From Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan
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The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi today issued notice in a PIL which challenges the rules and notifications issued by Central Government to regularise the entry of non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to India and their stay here. The petition filed by the Nagarikatwa Aain Songsudhan Birodhi Mancha (Forum Against Citizenship...

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The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi today issued notice in a PIL which challenges the rules and notifications issued by Central Government to regularise the entry of non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to India and their stay here.

The petition filed by the Nagarikatwa Aain Songsudhan Birodhi Mancha (Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill) through Advocate Manish Gosawmi, challenges the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, The Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015 and SO 4132 dated 23/12/2016 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015 exempt from the requirement of a passport to enter India for people belonging to minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanishtan and Pakistan, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who were compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious prosecution or fear of religious persecution. The Rules state that these people should have entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

The Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015 grants exemption from provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 to the same set of people, as exempted by the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015.

The petition claims that these sub-ordinate legislations have diluted the meaning of an "illegal migrant", as defined under Section 2(b) of The Citizenship Act, 1955, without first amending this provision. The petition, in fact, claims that the entire concept of distinguishing between citizens and non-citizens on the basis of religion is "communally altered humanitarianism" and goes against secularism.

The petitioners further submit that the government orders violate the Assam Accord, which treated all those who entered the state after March'1971 as illegal immigrants. "The amendment defeats the purpose of the accord and opens the floodgates to more illegal immigration and consequently increases claims on diminishing resources. The transformation of migrants, hitherto perceived as illegal encroachers, into legitimate citizens cannot be justified.", the PIL states.

Last January, the SC had adjourned the hearing of petition in view of the Citizenship Amendment Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, after being cleared by the Lok Sabha. The CJI then remarked that the if the Amendment Bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha, the petition will become infructous. Therefore, liberty was granted to the petitioner to move the petition after the budget session of the Parliament. 


 

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