Apex court strongly backs citizen identity cards

January 15th, 2009 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday strongly backed the idea of having national identity cards for all citizens of the country to identify illegal immigrants and infiltrators, including those from Bangladesh.A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Satahsivam and Justice J.M. Panchal approved a plan for multi-purpose national identity card (MPNIC) for Indian citizens. The court was hearing a bunch of lawsuits aimed at securing the country against illegal infiltration.

“Whoever is not having these identity cards should not be able to lead a normal life,” said the bench as Additional Solicitor General Amrendra Saran apprised the court of the government’s ongoing work on implementing the scheme for MPNIC.

“There should be a situation, where those not having these identity cards should not be able to get it (various facilities like admissions in school, treatment in hospitals, reservation in transport),” said the bench as Saran suggested that implementation of the scheme for mandatory identity card for citizens would rid the country of illegal immigrants.

The bench endorsed having a national identity card even while noting that it might not be easy to equip all citizens with identity cards.

The bench asked the government to apprise it within two months of various steps taken by it to stop infiltration by Bangladeshi nationals and others into the country.

The bench sought a detailed report on the status of fencing of country’s eastern border as well as the strength of the border force deployed along the India-Bangladesh border.

Saran told the court that the government has already completed its pilot project on implementation of the MPNIC and is currently examining the outcome of the pilot project.

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