SC Seeks count of detained Foreigners
29, Jan 2019
Prelims level : GS 2: “Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.” Mains level : Nil
- The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to provide it details of the number of foreigners lodged in detention centres in Assam.
- A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi sought the number of functioning detention centres, the status of pending cases against the detainees before the Foreigners’ Tribunal, the period of their detention and so on.
- The Bench, which included Justice Sanjiv Khanna, asked Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta to provide details of the number of persons who were declared foreigners and deported till date. It sought year-wise details of foreigners who had illegally entered India in the past decade. The information has to be provided by February 19, the next date of hearing in the court. On November 5 last year, the government informed the court about the framing of new guidelines for keeping foreign nationals in detention centres across the country.
- Mehta had then submitted that tenders were invited by the Assam government for the setting up of a new detention centre in Goalpara and the work was expected to be completed using pre-fab technology by August 31.
Human rights petition:
- The court admitted that compared the situation of families languishing in detention centres with the family separation policy imposed on illegal immigrants in the U.S. by the Trump administration. The Bench had then sought responses from the Centre and the Assam government on the plight of families which languish in the State’s six detention centres as “declared foreigners,” separated from each other and their children.
Preventive Detention in India
- The object of Preventive Detention is not to Punish but to intercept to prevent the Detenu from doing something prejudicial to the State. The satisfaction of the concerned authority is a subjective satisfaction in such a manner. [Ankul Chandra Pradhan Vs. Union of India]. Arrest as laid down in Chapter V of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code 1973 initiates preventive detention which questions one’s right to liberty and freedom.
- The Justification for preventive detention is suspicion or reasonable apprehension, reasonable probability of the impending commission of an act prejudicial to the state.
Article 22 of Indian Constitution:
- Article 22 provides that the Detenu under the preventive detention law shall have the right to have his representative against his detention reviewed by an advisory board.
- If the advisory board reports that the detention is not justified, the Detenu must be released forthwith. If the advisory board reports that the detention is justified, the Government may fix the period for detention.
- The advisory board may conclude its proceedings expeditiously and must express its opinion within the time prescribed by law. Failure to do that makes the detention invalid.