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  India   All India  09 Mar 2017  Supreme Court seeks report on border fencing

Supreme Court seeks report on border fencing

THE ASIAN AGE. | J VENKATESAN
Published : Mar 9, 2017, 6:08 am IST
Updated : Mar 9, 2017, 6:56 am IST

The bench then clarified that the draft list would not include these 48 lakh people.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Madhukar Gupta committee to oversee and monitor the progress of Indo-Bangladesh border fencing carried out by the Centre, and asked the panel to submit its report in four months.

A bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, gave this direction during the course of hearing of a batch of petitions filed by Assam Sanmilia Mahasanga, challenging the provisions of the Citizenship Act relating to the granting of citizenship status to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

 

The Centre submitted a report in a sealed cover on the status of the border fencing, and said 48.11 acres of riverine area could not be physically fenced.

When petitioners pleaded for a copy of the status report, the Centre opposed it on grounds of national security, but the bench asked the registry to provide copies of the report to the parties concerned.

When the Supreme Court directed the release of the Draft National Register of citizenship by April end, it was informed that the Gauhati high court had recently held the granting of family tree certificate to 48 lakh people by the local panchayat as illegal. The bench then clarified that the draft list would not include these 48 lakh people.

 

The court had earlier referred to a five-judge Constitution bench to examine the constitutional validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act. Section 6A was inserted into the Citizenship Act in 1985 in pursuance of the Assam Accord signed to bring the Assam Movement to an end.

Section 6A of the Citizenship Act allowed immigrants who had entered Assam from then East Pakistan before midnight of March 24, 1985, (as against 1951 for other states) to be accepted as Indian citizens.

The Mahasanga and others had questioned this provision as, according to them, the provision would allow illegal immigrants from Bangladesh to enter India and obtain citizenship.

 

Tags: supreme court, indo-bangladesh border fencing, citizenship act
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi