India-Bangladesh border fencing: Supreme Court to constitute supervisory committee on 31 July

The Supreme Court on Friday deferred formation of a committee to supervise the border fencing on the India-Bangladesh border till 31 July

PTI July 21, 2017 19:59:37 IST
India-Bangladesh border fencing: Supreme Court to constitute supervisory committee on 31 July

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred formation of a committee to supervise the border fencing on the India-Bangladesh border till 31 July after the Centre submitted three names for its consideration.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman said that since the three names suggested by Centre have come belatedly, therefore, the hearing of the matter be deferred.

It took into record the name suggested by some petitioners and Centre for the committee after former home secretary Madhukar Gupta has expressed his inability to continue supervising the border fencing on the India-Bangladesh border.

IndiaBangladesh border fencing Supreme Court to constitute supervisory committee on 31 July

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrolling at the India-Bangladesh border on the outskirts of Kolkata. Getty Images

The apex court had on 13 July rapped Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for his "intervention" in the process of publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) which is being monitored by the top court.

The apex court had observed that when it was monitoring the process of preparation and publication of the draft NRC, which is meant to identify original residents of the state to check illegal migration, through a court-appointed committee, no agency or authority can make such a statement.

It had said that if the authorties intervened in the matter like this, it would "wash off its hands" as it does not appreciate such moves.

The counsel representing Assam government had said there was no intention on the part of the chief minister to interfere in the apex court proceedings.

The chief minister had faced the ire after the court was informed that though the deadline for publication of draft NRC was said to be 31 March, 2018, the chief minister has stated that this would be done on or before December 2017.

The apex court had also observed that it has spent time and energy for almost two years for this and it was "not fair" on the part of the chief minister to make such a statement.

The court noted in its order that though Prateek Hajela, state coordinator, NRC Assam, had earlier stated before it that the date of publication of draft NRC would be around March 2018, now he has said that it would be published by December end this year.

It had said that now the date of publication of draft NRC is on or before 31 December, 2017 and therefore the budgetary allocation should be made available so that the work could be done by the year end.

Centre had informed that former home secretary heading a committee which was already entrusted some task by the court, has expressed his inability to oversee the construction of the fencing in the western front of the India-Bangladesh border.

It was said Gupta has cited personal reasons, including health, and has declined to take up the work related to construction of fencing in the western front of the border.

The bench had then clarified that it would like to give the work to a public spirited person and allowed Centre and petitioners to suggest some names for the committee.

It had said it will constitute another committee for the work and asked for the names from the parties within seven days.

The apex court was hearing a matter relating to fencing of India-Bangladesh border.

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