To check cross-border influx of illegal Bangladesh nationals into Assam, the Supreme Court (SC) on 8 March 2017 directed the Union Government to release funds for fencing the India-Bangladesh border. The bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman perused the status report on the progress made in the works relating to securing and fencing the border, which was presented by the Union Government and said the task has to be completed soon. It also said the Madhukar Gupta committee would “oversee and supervise” it.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) PS Patwalia, who appeared in the court on the behalf of the Union Government, said some tenders have been finalised and work orders issued to successful bidders to undertake the exercise of border fencing. The court issued the direction to the center while hearing the pleas of Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, Assam Public Works and All Assam Ahom Association. The pleas were filed in the aftermath of large-scale riots in 2012 and 2014 resulting in the death of many people.
ASG PS Patwalia said that the Expenditure and Finance Committee will meet on 9 March 2017 to decide on the issue of releasing funds. Later the court posted the matter for further hearing on 19 April 2017. Besides, the court also made clear that the work of updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to identify original residents of Assam would continue under state coordinator Prateek Hajela. It said that, the court wants to make it clear, to the state, that whatever manpower, Hajela committee want has to be given.