The Madras High Court on Monday, September 27 refused bail or advance bail to a batch of foreign nationals, who were arrested or feared arrest for various reasons, including illegal stay in India. Justice M Dhandapani rejected the plea while dismissing a batch of criminal original petitions from Suresh Raj alias Chinna Suresh and nine others. The petitioners were persons of different nationalities, including from Sri Lanka, Nigeria, China, Iran and Bangladesh, who had overstayed in the country beyond the validity of their visas or had entered illegally without proper immigration or visa documents.
Due to certain acts, they had come to adverse notice of the police, which had resulted in the filing of cases under various sections of the IPC, the Foreigners Act and the Passport Act. "Though it is the case of the petitioners in some of the petitions that they are residents of Indian origin, it is to be pointed out that such a plea is not substantiated by any material. Further, in a few cases, one of the allegations against the petitioners in addition to their illegal migrant status, is the fact that they have obtained identity cards, such as Aadhar cards from UIDAI by using fake documents, which is per se a criminal offence," the judge said.
Without proper investigation, allowing such petitioners to walk out on bail would be detrimental to the safety and security of the country. "Further, certain petitioners, who are illegal immigrants, are residing within the Indian territory for decades together without being deported back to their country of birth, due to the lacunae on the part of the government machinery and the law enforcing agency. Allowing such lacunae to continue further would be nothing but aiding and abetting the commission of a crime, which is impermissible and allowing such act to prosper without dealing it in accordance with law would lead to enormous ramifications on very many fronts and would put in peril the safety and security of the citizens of the country."
"In course of time, the Indian sub-continent would be the grazing grounds for the predators of illegal migrants with a devious mind to take over the country, which would lead to a pre-independence scenario. Therefore, this court is not inclined to accept the plea of the petitioners for grant of bail or advance bail," the judge added.
The court further directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to frame laws within a time period of three months, to oversee illegal immigrants who continue to live in the country and directed the Union government to ensure that they are deported back to their country of origin, after they complete their sentences, in case they had been booked.