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Assam Government in a fix over twin laws

Assam Government in a fix over twin laws

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 Sep 2018 4:17 AM GMT


“In other States including neighbouring Meghalaya, the police can detect and deport illegal foreigners under the Foreigners’ Act 1946”


GUWAHATI, Sept 28: A one-day training cum workshop on “Gold fish- an ornamental fish for entrepreneurship development” was organized by the Division of Fisheries, ICAR –RC-NEH Region, Umiam, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, Government of Meghalaya, on September 28 at the Directorate of Fisheries

On July 12, 2005 the Supreme Court repealed the IM(DT) Act after describing it as ultra vires to the Constitution and terming it as “the biggest hurdle” for and “the main impediment or barrier” in identification and deportation of illegal migrants from Assam.

But 13 years after such historic order the present BJP regime in Assam told the Assembly on Friday that it was a matter of serious concern that two sets of laws—one applicable for Assam and another for rest of India made detection and deportation of illegal foreigners in the State a tough job.

Cabinet Minister Keshab Mahanta told the Assembly that while the rest of India detects and deports illegal migrants on the basis of the Foreigners’ Act 1946, Assam has to do the same exercise as per the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964. He expressed anguish that detection and deportation of illegal foreigners is a long judicial process in Assam. “Cases are first tried in Foreigners’ Tribunals. Suspected illegal foreigners can even challenge the tribunals’ orders in the High Court and the Supreme Court. So it takes a long battle to prove someone foreigner in Assam,” he said.

“But in other States including neighbouring Meghalaya the police can detect and deport illegal foreigners under the Foreigners’ Act 1946,” Mahanta said, adding that even though the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 was temporary in nature it still exists in the State.

Responding to a Private Member Resolution on Clause 6 of Assam Accord brought by the Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque during the autumn session of Assam Assembly on Friday, Mahanta on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told the Assembly that there was no question of diluting the Clause 6 of the historic Accord as raised by the Congress MLA. He said even the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a tripartite meeting on Assam Accord assured that the Centre will not violate spirit and sanctity of the Accord.

Mahanta, however, admitted that implementation of certain provisions of Clause 6 such as Constitutional safeguard of indigenous people of Assam is progressing slowly. He said a nine-member committee is currently making plans as how to implement the provision of Constitutional safeguard effectively and expeditiously.

“The Centre has sanctioned Rs 83 crore to use hi-tech technology to guard the riverine border of Assam and Bangladesh stretching 48 kms,” Mahanta said, asserting that Dispur is fully responsible to implement the Assam Accord. The Assembly finally rejected the Private Member Resolution brought by Khaleque during the last Budget session of the Assembly, on voice votes.

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