Millennium Post

Illegal immigrants in Assam can be released with riders: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it could possibly look into releasing illegal immigrants held in Assam detention centres, on the condition that they assure their availability for legal proceedings, as and when required.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked advocate Prashant Bhushan, amicus curiae in the matter, to come up with suitable conditions imposed on these detenues post their release. Bhushan was asked to inform the court of these on Friday.

The court said it needs to impose such conditions that people can be traced and their availability ensured before authorities concerned, while asking the Assam government to work on the overall framework of setting up tribunals and ensuring speedy trials for the illegal immigrants.

Bhushan indicated at a possibility of monthly reporting at police stations concerned, and their guarantors assuring their presence whenever required.

Exploring the options of what can be done if the detenues do not show up, the bench queried what action can be taken, besides forfeiture of the bond amount furnished by the guarantors.

As Bhushan said that such detenues can be sent to jail, the bench asked him under which provision could this be done.

Regarding the functioning of the foreigners tribunal, the court told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file an affidavit on the availability of retired judicial officers, bureaucrats and advocates with certain years of experience, who could be taken on board as presiding officers.

Mehta also told the court that Gauhati High Court has been engaged in doubling the foreigners tribunals in the state from 100 to 200.

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