In fact, they should be held to higher standards. Any statement that they make, they cannot withdraw. You make a statement, you think through that statement and make that statement. Then what they do is, so we just discussed the Foreigners Act, we discussed the IMDT Act. Now you have the Citizenship Act also. The Citizenship Act is what bestows you with citizenship. It can’t be any other legislation that does this. So, they come out with a provision, Section 6A of the Citizenship Act that was inserted after the Assam Accord of 1985, saying bache itna chilla rahe hai, kuch to kar dete yaar, so they introduced that provision.
Why was that provision important? Let me just explain this. So, you have to look at three timelines, 1947-1966, 66-71, 71-till date, okay. A one who is ordinarily been a resident of Assam prior to 1966, will be treated as a citizen of India and therefore a citizen of Assam, and therefore he cannot be treated as an illegal immigrant, 66 se 71, will be covered by Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, the period after 1971 will be covered by the IMDT Act, that’s how it was split. Now IMDT Act tho gaya, that means deportation of people post 1971 also goes into the basket of the Foreigners Act, right? Therefore, the point was, the Foreigners Act now gives you the power to go after everyone. The Citizenship Act is protecting people between 1966-71. There are special provisions which are created for it.
So, the challenge to this particular provision was again filed, I think sometime in 2009, I think so first petition was filed in 2009, the second petition was writ petition of 2012, the second petition by Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha. This is the petitioner in this particular petition. That decision came out on the 17th of December 2014, after change in power in the center. Now one would have hoped that a change in dispensation, would bring with it a change of conscience and a change of position as far as such a critical issue is concerned. The government in power in December 2014, defended the Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, until the Supreme Court struck it down or rather did not strike it down, basically said, we will look into this particular question of whether or not it’s valid, but we are certainly of the view, that ever since this issue has been escalated and has been brought into national spotlight in 1960, the number of people who have been deported is abysmal. Its barely in lakhs and look at the numbers that we have. When Justice or rather when S K Sinha gave his report to the center in 1998-99, the number of illegal immigrants in Assam, I think was close to, I think 1.4 million, close to 1.4 million. Around that time the population of illegal immigrants and Bangladeshis in Delhi, around that time itself was .3 million.
This was in 1998-99, already they had reached Delhi, official figures today are, the number is around 3 crores, 2-3 crores and you can always add another 50%. If it’s a government figure, you can always spike it up by another 50%. That is the number that you are looking at. There is a clear recordal in one of these judgements. Of the three judgements, that one of the pull factors, there are push factors, tho Bangladesh ke taraf se ek push factor hai aur Bharath ke taraf se ek pull factor hai. One specific factor which has been recorded in the judgement is that they are used as vote banks and pampered by political leaders and its specifically mentioned.