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Current Affairs

Mizoram passes Bill to detect illegal foreigners

Date: 20 March 2019 Tags: Bills & Laws

Mizoram Assembly has unanimously passed The Mizoram Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019. It aims to detect illegal foreigners residing in state which shares over 700-km-long international border with Bangladesh and Myanmar. It also proposes to maintain household registers for every family in the state of Mizoram.

Key Features of the Bill

  • Objective: (i) Provide credible individual identification system, (ii) prevent “usurpation” of benefits of developmental schemes by those who are not entitled (iii) Create and maintain comprehensive database of residents to identify illegal foreigners.
  • Definition of citizen: Person registered as such or having requisite qualification as prescribed under Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Household registers: It will be maintained by designated officials as well as village councils, municipal bodies and town committees.
  • It will contain names, details and photographs of every resident of the state on  household basis,
  • It will be updated every three months will have two categories, one for citizen residents and one for non-citizen residents of the village.
  • Information furnished by individuals for registers will be verified and counter-signed by president of local branch of state-level NGOs as may be designated by state government from time to time
  • Usage of registers: Government departments and police may use household registers for administrative purposes, during implementation of development schemes and for law enforcement.
  • Punishments: Offence committed under this law such as willfully making false statement or destroying whole or any part of registration form is punishable offence with imprisonment for term upto one year or with fine of Rs 3000.

Background

Influx of foreigners into Mizoram through its porous international borders has remained serious concern for several decades. Large scale influx of foreigners and their malafide assimilation with permanent residents in villages and towns of Mizoram has led to abnormal increase in the population and poses law and order threat

In many cases benefit of development and welfare programmes are found eaten away to large extent by such foreigners who clandestinely stayed back and got assimilated in people of state by taking advantage of mistaken identity and of difficulties in detecting them. The bill aims to address these challenge.