Patna High Court: In serious matter of three Bangladeshi illegal migrants, the Division Bench of Shivaji Pandey and Partha Sarthy , JJ., warned the Home Ministry of Union of India of contempt proceeding for being unresponsive to the Court’s query. The Bench stated,

“It is a very serious matter that three Bangladeshi girls entered into India and they are being kept in Nari Niketan, not in Detention Centre.”

Earlier, by an order dated 07-04-2021, the Court had constituted a Three Men Committee of Advocates to assess the condition of Bangladeshi migrants and in what manner they were being kept in Nari Niketan. The Report of the committee revealed that the migrants had not raised any grievance of bad treatment with them in Nari Niketan.

On the issue of status of Detention Centre, the State had not come out with a proper statement with regard to creation of the Detention Centre, as it had stated that the migrants had been kept separately in jail premises itself, so that should be treated to be Detention Centre and also an effort was being made to create Detention Centre inside Beur Jail. While directing the State to file a proper affidavit in that matter, the Bench stated,

“Detention Centre cannot be created inside the jail premises, rather it should be created in terms of the instruction given by the Central Government giving detail manner the State has to create Detention Centre, so it is primary duty to create Detention Centre with that terms.”

So far as the Union of India was concerned, the Court had asked about further development in connection with the response from the Embassy of Bangladesh. However, it had been informed that the official of Home Ministry was not responsive to the query of the Court. The Court remarked that, “It is the duty of the Home Ministry to give a proper response to the query made by this Court with respect to the fact how the similarly situated foreign national are being treated and handled by the Home Ministry.”

“It is a very serious matter that three Bangladeshi girls entered into India and they are being kept in Nari Niketan, not in Detention Centre; as the Government of Bihar has failed to create Detention Centre. A detailed affidavit should be filed by the State of Bihar with respect to creation of Detention Centre for foreign national.”

The Bench added, failure to give response to counsel will be treated to be violation of the order of this Court. Hence, the Court made it clear that it may initiate a contempt proceeding against those who would be found in not cooperating the court proceeding or unresponsive to the query of the Court. Accordingly, the central government was directed to ensure that the department must be responsive to the query made by the Court.

[Marium Khatoon v. State of Bihar, 2021 SCC OnLine Pat 945, decided on 26-04-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner/s: Adv. Upendra Kumar Singh,

Amicus Curiae: Ashish Giri

For the Respondent/s: AAG 3 P.K. Verma, AAG 3, ASG K.N. Singh, CGC Kumar Priyaranjan

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