New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a PIL challenging a law which makes it mandatory for Indian visitors to certain northeastern states like Nagaland to have an Inner Line Permit (ILP).
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that it is not willing to look into this matter.
The petition was filed by advocate and BJP member Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who submitted that states are using this law to discriminate against movement of people within their boundaries, and this is tantamount to infringing the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
He contended that Nagaland has only eight per cent Hindu population and the ILP allegedly discriminates against the minority.
As Upadhyay persisted on a detailed hearing on the matter, the bench, which was rising after concluding the day’s proceedings, apparently got irked and refused to allow him to withdraw the petition, as he intended to present it before the ministry concerned.
The court took a sharp jibe at Upadhyay as he said that journalists are also supposed to acquire the permit to enter the state.
“You are trying to seek the support of the journalists in the courtroom,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.
Upadhyay, in his plea, equated the ILP to a quasi-visa system imposed on the Indian citizens, and sought it be gradually removed and eventually replaced by technology oriented measures like border patrolling, use of technology, strong land rights, financial devolution and increasing accountability in order to achieve the cultural integration of these states with the others in the country.