Gauhati HC: Release all persons detained for more than 2 years in Assam detention camps

The court has directed authorities to forthwith release such detainees while further reducing number of sureties to just one to make it easier to secure release

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In a significant move, the Gauhati High Court has directed to forthwith release persons lodged in Assam’s detention camps who have been lodged there for 2 years or more. The bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak directed that instead of the bench dealing with such cases separately, these detainees be released forthwith.

The petition was filed against the Foreigner Tribunal, Jorhat order dated May 13, 2019 declaring the petitioner, Samsul Hoque as a foreigner. The court noticed that Hoque was about to complete 2 years in detention.

Hence, the court, without going into the merits of the case, relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court given in April 2020 that a detainee is liable to be released after completing two years in detention. The court thus, directed that the petitioner be released on a personal bond and one surety of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand) instead of two sureties.

The court also cited the subsequent decision of the Gauhati High Court which came on April 15, 2020 following the apex court’s decision and held that orders need not be passed in each case, and instead the authorities should release the detainees who have completed 2 years in detention forthwith.

The court directed the concerned authorities, “Wherever such detenues are detained, to release them forthwith as and when they complete their two years of detention with the following modification that under these exceptional circumstances of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, they may be released on their personal bond of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand) and one surety instead of two sureties.”

The court directed that, within 48 hours, a copy of this order be forwarded to all the Superintendent of Police (Border) of all the districts, including the Superintendent and authorities of all the Jails and detention centres where such declared foreigners are lodged.

The court’s order comes as a relief since the families of those detained and eligible for release under these terms will not have to approach authorities themselves, as the onus has now been shifted on these authorities. SabrangIndia’s sister organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and its team in Assam have relentlessly worked towards securing release of such detainees, more so after the apex court’s order of April 2020 and managed to get many such detainees released from detention camps and reunited with their families in these tough and uncertain times.

The order may be read here:



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