Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court
Litigation News

Karnataka High Court questions the State on the measures initiated against "illegal immigrants" in the city

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court today questioned the State, Department of Immigration and Foreign Regional Registration office on the measures taken and the action initiated against the "illegal immigrants" in the State.

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Abhay Sreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar further asked the petitioners,

"In what manner can the State identify foreigners in a city of 1 crore?"

To this, Advocate Dalwai Venkatesh appearing for the petitioners suggested that the State Police be directed to start random checking in the city.

Responding to the above, the Karnataka High Court expressed its shock stating that,

What will happen if they start random checking in the city? How can a general exercise be done to identify foreigners? What you[Petitioner Advocate] are suggesting has inherent dangers...

Karnataka High Court

In this regard, the High Court stated that unless there is some kind of input, random police checking will not be made permissible. "The moment we issue the direction, police will start harassing commoners", the Court further held.

Besides this, the Court asked the State whether the Police made frequent inquiries with hotels in terms of illegal immigrants in the State.

Additionally, the Court posed the following questions,

"If a person overstays after the expiry of his Visa, what is the action taken against such persons? You [Department of Immigration] have a record of the Visa's issued.... Is it not the function of the State to find out whether such persons have gone back?"

Karnataka High Court

To this, the Department of Immigration stated that the Foreign registration officers were responsible of the same. The Court further held that there should be a machinery for the Central Government to inquire with the State Government to check whether such illegal immigrants have gone back to their respective countries.

The Court has directed the State to file a detailed report on the action taken by the State Government for processing the "illegal immigrants".

Bharat Punarutthana Trust is the petitioner in the matter.

The matter will be next heard on March 16.

Last year in October, it is reported that the High Court of Karnataka had issued notice to the State and Union government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking to direct the authorities for identification, isolation and deportation of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh living in the State.

The petitioner, further prayed for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946, and various communications issued by the Union government, so that no illegal immigrant from any country resides in the State.

On a similar note, earlier this month, the Karnataka High Court had directed the State to either provide monetary assistance or temporary accommodation to those persons who had been forcefully evicted from their shelter by BBMP in Karnataka. The interim orders were passed by the Court while dealing with a plea pertaining to the forceful eviction of the alleged 'Bangladeshi immigrants' in Karnataka.

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