Chennai: Suspecting that illegal immigrants were deliberately getting involved in petty crimes to continue to overstay in India, the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Home Ministry to consider enacting appropriate legislation within three months to check on this. Justice M Dhandapani said there was a need to deport all foreigners living in India illegally. He expressed shock that some of them have even obtained Aadhaar cards.
The judge said it has come to the attention of the court that the illegal immigrants, “to circumvent the deportation procedures and to continue their stay within the territory of India”, resort to certain subterfuge like “committing petty crimes and serving simple sentences”. They come out and again get involved in similar crimes. Such actions are not in the interest of safety and security of the country.
“However, no mechanism or law is available as on date to identify such individuals and curb such acts,” the court noted.
Therefore, the judge directed the Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs) and Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) on land borders to share details, regarding entry of foreigners with the police every fortnight so that the latter could track the movements of foreigners by establishing special wings in every district and identify those who overstay their visa period without a valid extension.
Foreigners, who had either overstayed or entered illegally, must be sent to detention camps/holding centres until they get repatriated to their home countries as per the guidelines issued by the Home Ministry. Foreigners lodged in prisons, on being convicted for criminal offences, must be deported immediately after the completion of their sentence, the judge ordered.
The orders were passed while disposing of a batch of bail petitions filed by Nigeria, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Iran nationals booked in various criminal cases.
The court directed the Registry to list the case on January 4, next year for reporting of compliance by the Centre and the State police.