Why is it in the news?
- One of the largest detention centres’ is being constructed at Mattia in Goalpara, 129 km from Guwahati, and will be able to house 3,000 inmates.
- Legal provisions regarding detention
- The Centre has the power to deport foreign nationals staying illegally in the country under Section 3(2)(c) of The Foreigners Act, 1946. These powers have also been entrusted to State governments under Article 258(1) of the Constitution and under Article 239(1) for administrators of Union Territories. States are required to keep the illegal migrants in detention centre’s pending their nationality verification and subsequent deportation.
- On January 9, 2019, a detailed manual on “model detention centres” was circulated to make a distinction between “jails and detention centres.
- MHA has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 which empowers district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals. Earlier such powers to constitute tribunals vested with the Central government only.
Features of the model detention centre
- It should be ensured that members of the same family are not separated and all family members are housed in the same detention centre.
- Detention centres should be designed for inmates to maintain standards of living in consonance with “human dignity”.
- Along with CCTVs and round-the-clock security personnel, the centre’s boundary wall should be at least 10 feet high and ringed with barbed wires with strict access control measures. There should also be a periodic security audit by the appropriate authorities.
- Children lodged in a detention centre may be provided educational facilities by admitting them in local schools.