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The Supreme Court on Tuesday (April 9) appointed Senior Advocate and former additional Solicitor General of India Gourab Banerji as amicus curiae in the matter pertaining to plight of inmates in detention camps in Assam.

The bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta, Sanjiv Khanna said to Solicitor General  Tushar Mehta: “Living conditions of foreigners in detention centres does not have to be physically verified by the Amicus as we all know that it is bad.”

As per the early directions of the apex court, the Assam Chief Secretary (CS) was present in the courtroom.

The CJI questioned Chief Secretary: “Where the 40000 foreigners and what are has your government done to trace them? Out of 46000 you have deported only four foreigners since 2015. Is this the way you are acting in accordance with the constitution. Your governments effort to identify the foreigners have been poor and this should be put on record and the law will take its course.”

CS replied: “We have taken important steps.”

CJI again questioned: “We are not concerned with your steps. Your final NRC is to be published on July 31. The people who have not been included have filed their case which have been dismissed and these will go the Foreigners Tribunals. You said that you require more tribunals. How will you get 1000 judges who will be the retired judges and you want them to work for 2-3 years.”

CS responded: “We have written a letter to the High Court of Gauhati with respect to this matter.”

The bench directed CS to present report for the release of the detenues after completing discussion with the concerned authorities.

The matter will be heard again on April 25.

—India Legal Bureau  

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