'You Dragged Your Feet, Submitted Vague Affidavit,' Supreme Court Tells This State

'You Dragged Your Feet, Submitted Vague Affidavit,' Supreme Court Tells This State

The court had in December asked Assam to step up efforts to identify and deport foreigners and to report its progress in an affidavit.

New Delhi:

A furious Supreme Court today tore into the Assam government saying it had dragged its feet "for years and years" on deporting illegal migrants, and then submitted a "vague" affidavit.

"The fact has been that you have dragged your feet. We will say your affidavit is highly unsatisfactory and not worth accepting. We will call your Chief Secretary. This is not the way. You have dragged your feet for years and years and (are) still dragging," the top court said, giving the state a week to do a better job.

The court had in December asked Assam to step up efforts to identify and deport foreigners and to report its progress in an affidavit.

That affidavit was submitted by the Assam government today.

"It (the affidavit) is not only vague but the officer has no exposure to ground reality," the top court said. "We refuse to accept the affidavit. We are expressing displeasure over the conduct of the state government."

The court also castigated the Assam government for getting a junior officer to file the affidavit. "Does he know anything what is going on? See the seriousness with which this matter is treated. Shall we call this man and ask what is there in the affidavit? Does he know what is there?" the court said.

The court had directed the Assam government to set up dozens of additional tribunals to identify and deport foreigners who came and settled in the state after March 25, 1971. People who have settled before 1966 are already considered Indian citizens under the Assam Accord.

The court had also ordered the removal of names from the voters' list of those who came to the state between 1966-1971, unless they produced proof of having stayed in India for at least 10 years.

 

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