New Delhi: The Supreme Court directed Monday the Centre to give the number of functional detention centres in Assam and the foreigners detained there during the last 10 years as also various other details.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a petition filed by activist Harsh Mander on the condition of detention centres in Assam and the prolonged detention of foreigners there.
“We would like to know as to how many detention centres are there. We also want to know how many persons are lodged there and since when,” the bench said.
It also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to provide details as to how many persons have been declared foreigners so far and how many of them have been deported till date. It also sought the year-wise details of foreigners who have illegally entered into India during the last 10 years.
The bench, which has sought details within three weeks from the authority, has now posted the matter for further hearing, February 19.
The top court had earlier issued notice to the Centre and the Assam government on Mander’s plea and had asked them to respond to it within four weeks.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Mander has said that the condition of foreign nationals kept at the detention centres in Assam was not good.
“The larger issue is can these people be permitted to be detained indefinitely just because they are not Indian citizens,” he said, adding that they were being treated as ‘illegal aliens’.
Bhushan had referred to a US Supreme Court judgement and said it had held that the government cannot keep the foreign nationals in detention indefinitely.
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