Guwahati, April 17: The Gauhati High Court has given the Border wing of the Assam police seven days to comply with its April 15 order to release on bail ‘declared foreigners’ (DFs) who have completed two years in detention camps.

The court, hearing a petition on Wednesday with reference to the Supreme Court’s April 13 order for releasing the DFs in view of the global coronavirus outbreak, also asked the Special Director-General of Police (Border) to submit the number of people released when the matter is taken up after 10 days, The Hindu reported.

The Border wing is tasked with detection of suspected “illegal immigrants” and refer them to any of the 100 existing quasi-judicial Foreigners’ Tribunals that decide on the status of the person detected to be sent to a detention centre.

The duo of Justice Ajit Barthakur and Justice Manojit Bhuyan observed that the apex court had modified its May 10, 2019 order to reduce the detention period of DFs from three to two years and release them with two sureties of ₹ 5,000 each instead of ₹ 1 lakh each.

The apex court’s order was for decongesting prisons toward preventing the virus from spreading. “…we now make a general direction for compliance by the respective Superintendents of Police (Border) of all the present 33 districts…,” the Justice duo said in the order, asking them to first take stock of the names and period of detention of the detainees and ensuring their release on bail.

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