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Centre's decision on IMDT is contempt of court: Advani

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) Taking exception to the government's decision to amend the Foreigner's Act providing for the setting up of a tribunal, Leader of Opposition L K Advani today said it would be a contempt of the Supreme Court and the Constitution.

After the court struck down the Illegal Migrants Detection Tribunal (IMDT) Act as ''ultra vires'', the government's decision to amend the Foreigner's Act would practically mean that it wanted to extend the scope of the IMDT, which was now limited to Assam, to the whole country, he said in informal chat with newspersons.

The government, he said, seemed to have conveniently forgotten the court's directive that it was the duty of the Centre to take all measures to protect Assam from such ''external aggression'' and internal disturbance, as enjoined by Article 355 of the Constitution.

He said instead of protecting Assam from the large-scale illegal immigration of Bangladeshi nationals, the government was seeking to impose the IMDT declared ''ultra vires'' by the apex court.

The Court had said that the Foreigners Act was an effective safeguard against external aggression and internal disturbance and what the government was proposing was not to jettison the IMDT Act, but weaken the approved law.

''Is this the way the government discharging its responsibility,'' he asked.

Quoting the apex court judgement, Mr Advani said the Governor's report on Assam on employment opportunities had detailed how the illegal Bangladeshi migrants had deprived the Indian citizens, especially those in Assam, of their jobs leading to insurgency in the state.

Insurgency was undoubtedly a serious form of internal disturbance which causes grave threat to the life of people, creating panic situation and also hampering the growth and economic prosperity of Assam though it possesses vast natural resources, he said, quoting the verdict.

UNI MCN LR KP1606

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