Assam dragging its feet on illegal Bangladeshi migrants: SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today slammed the Assam Government for “dragging its feet” and rejected its “vague” and “highly unsatisfactory” affidavit on the steps taken regarding the influx of illegal Bangladesh nationals through the porous Indo-Bangla border in the state.
The apex court expressed “displeasure over the conduct of the state government” and questioned its “seriousness” in taking steps to comply with its December 17 directions.
“The affidavit of Assam Government is highly unsatisfactory. It is not only vague but the officer has no exposure to ground reality. We refuse to accept the affidavit. We are expressing displeasure over the conduct of the state government,” a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said.
The bench directed the Chief Secretary to file a “meaningful affidavit” within a week on the steps taken in pursuant to its December 17, 2014 order.
The bench said the failure to file a proper affidavit would lead to calling of the state’s chief secretary for explanation.
It also directed the Assam Government to apprise it about the steps taken to comply with its direction to meet the deadline of January 2016 for updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
At the outset, the bench expressed its anguish over the affidavit filed by a junior official and asked “does he know anything what is going on?”
“See the seriousness with which this matter is treated,” it said adding that “shall we call this man and ask what is there in the affidavit? Does he know what is there?”
The bench was also at pain to say that despite assurances 500 police units and task force to detect illegal migrants have not been activated within a month.
“Affidavit says that steps taken for constitution of 500 units of task force, but they are not yet in place,” the bench observed, noting that three months have passed since the judgement was delivered with a slew of directions both for the state and the Centre.
“The fact has been that you have dragged your feet. We will say your affidavit is highly unsatisfactory worth not accepting. We will call your chief secretary. This is not the way. You have dragged your feet for years and years and still dragging,” the bench observed during the hearing.