National Refugee Legislation: Why India Needs One

By Niketa Singh.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Refugee affairs in India, presently, are dealt by the Government through ad hoc policy measures which exhibit a state of ambiguity thereby leading to discrepancy in the treatment of different refugee groups.
The prerogative of the Government in framing these policies make refugees dependent on the benevolence of the state thereby pointing towards the feeble ‘regime of refugee rights’ in the country. However, the judiciary, in the process of enforcing refugee rights, has relied on various international conventions (which are enforceable to a limited extent), entered into by the executive.
The application of national legislations, like, the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Passport Act, 1920, etc. –which are explicitly and exclusively applicable to the foreigners in the country- to the refugees are a source of inconsistent judicial decisions. In the absence of any guiding force like, a national legislation, the judicial creativity has not been able to realize a lucid regime of refugee rights. Contradictory judicial decisions, arbitrary policy measures and non-existent rights regime are the foremost problems that could be addressed only through a national legislation in place.
This paper elucidates the reasons, based on the analysis of evidence, which justify an urgent need for the adoption of a national legislation on refugees.

Keywords: Refugees

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.131-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.260MB).

Niketa Singh

National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

I am pursuing my Bachelors in Law from the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (India).

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