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Report No. 251

25. Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, Act 39 of 1983

Category: Citizenship; Admission into, Emigration to, and Expulsion from India; and Cross-border Movement.

Recommendation: Repeal

The Act instituted procedures to determine whether persons suspected to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh did, in fact, fall under that category, and expel them from India. It was applicable only to the state of Assam (detection of foreigners in other states is done under The Foreigners Act, 1946). The Act established Tribunals for determining whether a person is an illegal migrant.

The Court, in Sarbananda Sonowal v. Union of India [(2005) 5 SCC 665] struck down the Act and Rules, ordered that the Tribunals under the Act cease to function, and declared that the Foreigners Act and other related Acts would operate in Assam instead. Since the Act has been struck down by the Supreme Court and is not in use, it should be repealed.


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