Dealing with the issue of human rights concerns of two women Bangladeshi migrants in the State, the Patna High Court recently constituted a three member advocates team to know about the conditions in which they were being kept in the After Care Home and directed the team to submit its report within one week in a sealed cover.
Noting that no affidavit was filed by the State Government for combating the issue, a division bench comprising of Justice Shivaji Pandey and Justice Partha Sarthy directed the State of Bihar to file an affidavit with regard to creation of holding centres or detention centres in the State for such illegal migrants.
Along with this, the Court also directed the Union of India to file an affidavit giving details of the present status of repatriation to their native place and also addressing the issue of illegal migrants wherein the native country is not ready to accept their respective citizen.
The High Court was hearing a petition concerning two women Bangladeshi migrants namely Marium Khatoon and Mausmi Khatoon arrested from the Patna Railway Station, kept in an “After Care Home” for the past many years. However, no criminal case was registered against them.
Constitution of Three Lawyers Team
Noting that the two females were illegal migrants who had entered Indian territory without valid documents, the High Court constituted a three lawyers team tasked to visit the After Care Home, interact with the two females and submit a report in sealed cover describing the manner in which they were being kept there. The team comprised of two female advocates and a male advocate.
The development came after the Additional Solicitor General of India informed the Court that a letter was written to the Bangladeshi Embassy for their repatriation however no response was received.
On the other hand, Additional Advocate General appearing for the State informed that they were kept in the After Care Home in proper manner and there is no such complaint that they are being kept in very bad manner.
“The aforesaid team will visit the After Care Home on 10.04.2021 for which this Court directs the Superintendent of After Care Home to allow the Members of the Team to interact with Ms. Marium Khatoon @ Mariyam Parveen and Ms. Mausmi Khatoon, who have been kept in After Care Home. We are making it very clear that at the time of conversation/interaction, no official either of After Care Home or otherwise, will remain present there. If this Court would find that any such intervention has been made, the same will be viewed very seriously and this Court may directly initiate contempt proceeding against the erring officers / persons.” The Court directed.
Affidavits on Construction of Detention Centres, Issue of Illegal Migrants to be Filed by State and Centre
On the submission of the amicus curiae that such persons cannot be kept in After Care Home for a longer time and that they should be shifted to Holding Centres or Detention Centres as per the direction of Central Government, the Court directed the State and Central Government to apprise the Court about their stand on the following aspects:
– State Government to file affidavit with regard to creation of Holding Centres or Detention Centre for the illegal migrants.
– Central Government to file affidavit on two aspects. First, giving the present status of their interaction with Bangladeshi Embassy for repatriation of two female migrants to their native place and Second, in what manner the issue of illegal migrants are being taken up where the native country is not ready to accept their respective citizen.
During the previous course of hearing, the Court had directed the respondent authorities to submit data in a tabular form on the following aspects (a) total number of Remand Home within the State of Bihar; (b) total number of persons housed therein; (c) total number of foreign nationals amongst them and (d) what steps stand taken for their repatriation or action under the Foreigners Act; Foreigners Order 1948 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964.
Title: Marium Khatoon v. The State of Bihar, through the Principal Secretary Home (Police), Patna, Bihar
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