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Above: BSF patrolling along the India-Bangladesh international border. Photo: UNI

The fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border has been going on at a slow pace. Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha has appealed against this in the Supreme Court. The apex court bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F Nariman heard the case on Thursday (July 13).

In the last hearing, the additional solicitor general had said that the re-tendering had been done and the Madhukar Gupta Committee will monitor the fencing and the Department of Finance of the Ministry of Finance will be meeting on this.

When the counsel for the petitioner asked for a copy of the status report to be served to them on Thursday, the court said: “If it is served to you, then instead of relying on the report you have to go personally to the border and see the ground status and tell us about the progress.”

When Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that Madhukar Gupta had declined to be part of the committee due to some health reasons, the bench wanted suggestions for a few names for that.

The SG said: “Regarding status report of fencing, we have filed a report. The issue relates to 13.38 km. Right now work has stopped due to rain, but it is still going on. We are doing our best.”

The bench queried: “Are you sure that you are doing the best, because our committee will visit that place.”

The bench thrashed the State of Assam for a statement made by their CM that they will prepare the report by December 31.

The bench said: “We have devoted time, money and energy for over two years on this. This is not fair to this court. When this court is monitoring this issue, how can any agency step into it? We do not appreciate any authority to step into this matter when this court is talking care of it.”

The SG was asked to suggest names within three days for a committee. The matter will be listed after the report is submitted by the committee.

India Legal Bureau

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