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Report No. 175

7.3. Status Report filed by the Union of India in the Supreme Court

(i) The status report submitted by the Union of India in the above case paints a grim picture of the illegal migrants from Bangladesh in various parts of India, especially in west Bengal and some North-Eastern States.

(ii) It brings out the magnitude and gravity of the problem of illegal migration from Bangladesh, causes for the same as also its impact, especially on the security of India.

(iii) It enumerates measures taken by the Government of India to curb the menace of infiltration. These include delegation of powers under the Foreigners Act to identify, detect and deport illegal migrants to state Governments and Union territory Administrations and issuance of instructions to them to speed up the process of identification and deportation; the strengthening of the BSF, construction of border roads and fencing, sanction of posts under the Prevention of Infiltration of Foreigners/Mobile Task Force Schemes, mechanized riverine patrolling in certain parts of the country and diplomatic initiatives.

(iv) It also brings out the following ground Ievel arrangements arrived at between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in respect of handing over of illegal migrants:

(a) Persons convicted by courts would be accepted on the basis of verification of nationality by the respective prescribed authorities.

(b) Persons apprehended in the process of inadvertent or deliberate border crossing would be accepted immediately on the basis of disclosures. After verification, they would be accepted within three days.

(c) All other categories of illegal entrants would be handed over within 7-15 days depending on the place of arrest and place of claimed domicile after required verification.

(v) There is a proposal to issue multipurpose national identity cards to all citizens of India of the age of 14 years and above. Those below 14 would separately be registered under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, and their names included in father's/mother's cards. Separate colour cards would be issued to non-citizens. The main idea behind this scheme is to stop illegal migration and to identify and easily trace illegal migrants. The scheme envisages a National Registry having on-line access to data from all the districts of the country.

(vi) In 1997, instructions were issued on the deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh which are as follows:

(a) The nationals of Bangladesh intercepted at the border, while crossing into India unauthorisedly, would immediately be sent back by BSF;

(b) Nationals, detected as unauthorisedly living in India, would be deported after they are served deportation order by the competent authority of the concerned State Government.

These instructions were reviewed in 1998 by the Government of India and the following decisions were communicated to the state Governments and the Union territory Administrations for comp1iance.

(a) While identifying and detecting such migrants, the state Governments would send details of residential address etc. claimed by the suspect to the Government of the concerned state (of which he claims to be a resident, being an Indian national) for verification and report within 30 days.

(b) During this period, the competent authority will ensure his detention (by obtaining permission of the court, if necessary) for deportation.

(c) If no report is received within this period, the competent authority would take action to deport illegal migrant.

(d) Advance information about the movement of deportees under the po1ice escort from one State to another would be given by the State from where they are being sent to the concerned State police.

The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill, 2000 Back

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