Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives
Kochi: Kerala High Court has directed the State Government to set up temporary detention centres for foreign citizens who do not possess travel documents. Court also directed this to be set up within two months. Court also directed the Secretary of the Social Justice Department on the same.
The direction was passed by the Single Bench of Justice Ziyad Rahman AA on a petition filed by Olorumemi Benjamin Baba Femi, a Nigerian citizen who is in prison due to the non-establishment of detention centres in the state. He sought an order directing the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) to specify any detention centre.
While giving direction, Court also made it clear that establishing detention centres must be done under the stipulations given by the Central Government. Court will further consider the matter after one month.
In the meantime, the Central Government contended, "several foreign nationals, including two children, are awaiting accommodation and they are accommodated inside prison along with other ordinary prisoners at the moment. As per the norms, they are to be accommodated in the detention centre as expeditiously as possible, and since children are also among the said foreigners, serious prejudice is being caused."
The State Government had informed the Court that it already identified another building with more facilities to accommodate more inmates, and the process is ongoing to set up the said facility there.