The central government’s counsel argued before the Madras high court that it cannot provide citizenship for Sri Lankan refugees who enter India illegally, and that there is no room for them as per the law. The counsel also said the Centre cannot make decisions on an “emotional basis”.
The arguments were heard by the bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Duraisamy on Monday.
Some Sri Lankan Tamils living in a refugee camp at Kottapattu in Trichy had approached the Madurai bench of the Madras HC seeking Indian citizenship. They had requested the high court to direct the Centre to give them citizenship as their ancestors were from Tamil Nadu and went to Sri Lanka as plantation workers during the British regime. Now, they had left Sri Lanka as the situation was worse than it was during the civil war.
Earlier, a single judge bench of Madras HC, which heard the case, directed the Centre to consider and provide citizenship for these Sri Lankan refugees. Hence, the central government had approached the larger bench against the order of the single judge.
The Centre’s counsel stated, “We can’t provide citizenship for Sri Lankan refugees who entered India illegally and don’t possess any documents; the single judge out of emotion passed an order to consider giving citizenship to the refugees, that’s why the Centre has approached a larger bench.”
After hearing the arguments, the chief justice bench sent a notice to the petitioners and adjourned the case for three weeks.
Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here