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Helpless Sri Lankan immigrants detained in jail; Karnataka Legal Services Authority moves HC


CHENNAI: The Karnataka High Court on Monday issued notice to the Union of India on a petition filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority seeking directions to take immediate steps for setting up sufficient number of Detention Centres with all basic amenities in the state for the detention of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation, reports said.

The petition, according to Live Law, stated that around 38 Sri Lankan citizens were apprehended in Mangalore without valid documents last year. They were promised to be taken to Canada and payments were made by them and their family members to the concerned agents for processing and facilitating their movements to Canada. A case was registered against them. The case was later transferred to the National Investigation Agency. Investigations revealed that they were really victims of human trafficking and hence are treated as witnesses in the case.

The Investigating Officer requested the government to deport them to their country and that they be lodged in the Foreigners Detention Centre in Bangalore till their deportation. However, the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer has sent a letter to the trial court stating that the said centre can accomodate only 35 persons and that there are already 27 persons lodged in the said centre and he is unable to accomodate 38 Sri Lankan civilians. In view of the same all 38 Sri Lankan citizens are continued to be detained in Bangalore central jail, Live Law report said.

The petition said the "detention of 38 Sri Lankan citizens in the jail is arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional."

The petition said it is the "responsibility of the Central and the State government to set up detention centres for the helpless immigrants by making necessary arrangements towards making available the basic necessities of food, water and shelter towards the immigrant victims. Continuation of the detention of the Sri Lankan nationals in the jail without setting up of the detention centres is not proper."

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty issued the notice to the Union of India and other respondents on this matter.



54 Days ago