Lighting a Candle in the Darkness
In the wake of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Supreme Court of India has ordered the release of all detainees who have completed two years in detention centers in Assam on a bond of Rs 500,000. 50,000 Indian nationals with two guarantees of this amount. In fact, the Supreme Court had ruled that only detainees who have completed more than three years of execution of the bond should be released, with the bond providing two guarantees of money. Is paid with. 1 lakh The Supreme Court’s compassionate order has also improved domestically and globally. In this article, we will talk about the conditions and rights of these detainees being violated, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic.
To understand the importance of the order, a little background of the situation is necessary. Under the auspices of the Supreme Court, the state government of Assam conducted a statewide exercise to identify and deport illegal immigrants, known as the “National Register of Citizens of Assam (NRC)”. On December 31, 2019, the final draft of the NRC was published and out of 30.3 million people, more than 1.9 million were excluded. The Union has the power to deport foreign nationals under Section 3 (2) (c) of the Foreigners Act 1946 for deportation of foreign nationals. And state governments have been given similar powers under Article 258 (1) of the Constitution. Although the NRC itself is seen as a methodological and administrative failure, what is even more troubling is the depressing and inhumane condition of the Assam concentration camps.
More than 1,000 people are being held in six detention centers in Assam, according to figures provided by the Union Home Ministry. While Assam is in the midst of a controversial phase of COVID-19 transfer, with 34 positive cases reported, it is feared that if the situation escalates, detainees in detention centers will suffer the most, as they lack basic hygiene and medical care. There is also a lack of facilities. . A recent Amnesty International report highlighted the large number of detention centers where detainees are forced to live without basic amenities. This is in violation of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, which promises a decent standard of living for their health and well-being.
The Constitution of India guarantees that due to the indifference of the state government, detainees are deprived of their basic right to life and personal liberty. Denial of fundamental rights in a detention center in any form or form of detention is a violation of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Articles 1, 3, 4 and 6, in addition to civil and Articles 7 and 9 of the International Covenant on Political Rights, 1966 and Articles 5 and 9 of the UDHR. Also, Guideline 6 of the UNHCR Detention Guidelines, 2012 provides that illegal immigrants will not be detained indefinitely, but there is no upper limit in the Foreigners Act of India 1946. Is not specified.
In this context, the Supreme Court’s ruling is significant and clarifies the legitimacy of the right to life, guaranteed by the Constitution, for both citizens and non-citizens. The Supreme Court has interpreted the “right to life” in the union of Francis Corley Mullen v. Administrator to include the right to life with human dignity and the right to all basic necessities of life. In the state of Punjab vs. MS. Chawla, the Supreme Court ruled that the “right to life” includes the right to health and medical care. The court order upholds the human rights of detainees under UDHR and ICCPR, both of which have been ratified by the Union of India.
With the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the Home Minister’s promise to conduct NRCs across the country, the Supreme Court’s counterpart and sympathetic stance in the context of the rights of illegal immigrants is being welcomed. In these troubled times of epidemics, the most vulnerable people in the world are homeless refugees, while there are serious concerns about their well-being. In such a situation, this order of the Supreme Court, which provides relief to immigrants for the protection of national security, has become a ray of hope in the sea of human rights jurisprudence.