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Govt. of India and State of Arunachal Pradesh directed to finalise the conferment of citizenship rights to Chakma and Hajong refugees

Supreme
Court: While dealing with the issue of grant of
citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong tribals settled in the State of Arunachal
Pradesh, the Division Bench of A.R. Dave and A.K. Goel, JJ., directed the
Government of India and the State of Arunachal Pradesh to confer the
citizenship rights to the Chakma and Hajong refugees within three months from
the date of this decision and ensure protection to their life and liberty and
prevent any discrimination against them.

The matter had
come before the Court in National Human Rights Commission v. State of
Arunachal Pradesh, (1996) 1 SCC 742, wherein the Government was directed to
ensure that the right of life and liberty of the refugees is protected against any
attempt of eviction made by groups like AAPSU. In the instant case the
petitioners via Sanjay Kumar Visen, argued that the directions of the Court in NHRC
case have not been followed. Neither the refugees are able to avail the
benefit of public distribution system nor, their children are getting any educational
facilities. The petitioners further contended that getting citizenship is their
legitimate right. The respondents however contended that there is no threat to
life and liberty of the refugees and in pursuance of the decision of the Court
in NHRC case, the State of Arunachal Pradesh is receiving applications
under Rule 9 of Citizenship Rules.  

The Court on perusing the contentions of
the parties, observed and acknowledged that various judicial
rulings and the Election Commission guidelines for revision of
electoral rolls in respect of areas where there is substantial presence of
Chakmas and Hajongs, provide a base upon which the refugees can demand grant of
citizenship as per the applicable procedure. Therefore the Chakma and Hajong
migrants have a rightful claim to citizenship which should be finalized within
3 months from the date of this decision. [Committee for Citizenship Rights
of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh v. State of Arunachal Pradesh, decided on 17-09-2015]  
Source: Legal news India

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