NEW DELHI: In a written reply in Rajya Sabha on the steps being taken to deport Rohingyas, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday said that the Central government has been vested with powers to detain and deport illegal foreign nationals.
"Central Government has been vested with powers under sections 3(2)(e) and 3(2)(c) of the Foreigners Act, 1946 to detain and deport foreign nationals staying illegally in the country," said Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, while responding to Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai's query.
The minister maintained that detection and deportation of Rohingya migrants after due process of nationality verification is a continuous process.
He also said that the Central government may also, by an order, direct the removal of any person from India who enters the country without a passport.
"Further, under Article 239(1) of the Constitution of India, the Administrators of all the Union Territories have also been directed to discharge the functions of the Central Government relating to the aforesaid powers since 1958," said Rai.
However, Rai said that there was no accurate data regarding the number of illegal migrants living in the country as they enter without valid travel documents.
Desai had earlier questioned whether the Central government was aware of the large scale entry of Rohingya Muslims and why the security forces at the border were unable to stem the entry of such migrants.
He also asked how long the government would bear them in the country.