SC calls Assam govt's affidavit on foreigners tribunal 'an exercise in futility', directs state chief secy to appear before it on 8 April

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday voiced unhappiness over the inaction in a case relating to detention of foreigners in Assam and directed the state chief secretary to appear before it on 8 April.

 SC calls Assam govts affidavit on foreigners tribunal an exercise in futility, directs state chief secy to appear before it on 8 April

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi termed the affidavit filed by the Assam government as an "exercise in futility" and wanted to know as to how many persons, who have been declared foreigners by the tribunal, have amalgamated with the local population.

"What is the number of declared foreigners who have amalgamated with the local population. This is why we wanted your chief secretary to remain present," the bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said while expressing displeasure over the non-appearance of officials.

The apex court then directed the chief secretary to appear before it and posted the PIL filed by activist Harsh Mander on the issue for 8 April. The bench was hearing a plea on the condition of detention centres in Assam and the prolonged detention of foreigners there.

Earlier the apex court had asked the central government to apprise it on several issues including as to how many functional detention centres are there in the state.

The Assam government had earlier told the apex court that 50,000 migrants were declared foreigners by the tribunal in the past 10 years. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Assam government, had said that around 900 people were being kept in six detention centres of the state.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, had then said that the state government would have to specify through an affidavit by 27 March whether the foreigners tribunals functioning in the state were adequate and how they were functioning.

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Updated Date: Apr 01, 2019 13:44:51 IST