HC directs govt to close down unauthorized immigration consultancies

HINDUSTAN TIMES

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the protector of emigrants, Chandigarh to provide list of the names of registered immigration consultancies and agents in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to the respective states and UT so that unauthorized immigration shops can be closed down.

The division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh directed the two states and UT to check the credentials of all the immigration consultancies and agents and take action as per law against the defaulters and file their status reports within four weeks time.

The bench, during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by former high court judge Amar Dutt also issued directions to union ministry of overseas Indian affairs and proctector general of emigrants to put the names of authorited immigration consultancies/consultants on their websites and give it wide publicity so that public could come to know about the genuine consultants. It was also directed that the authorities concerned would also keep a watch on the advertisements being issued in the print and electronic media by the immigration counsultancies to check frauds.

Justice(retd) Dutt is also the chairman of the nodal cell for NRI affairs constituted by the Chandigarh Administration. He had informed the bench through his counsel Anil Malhotra that in the absence of any law made by Parliament to define the offence of human smuggling and illegal trafficking of human beings, unscrupulous agents and unregistered agencies indulge in the illegal business of sending gullible citizens abroad by wrong means upon extracting huge sums of money.

The bench was also informed that the Emigration Act, 1983 is the only legislation on the subject made by Parliament. All the recruiting agents/employers working in any place are duty bound to follow the provisions laid down under the Act, before conducting the business of sending people outside India on the pretext of jobs or employment. The recruiting agents/employers not working as per the 1983 Act are unlicensed and unauthorized, it was informed.

The case would now come up for hearing on July 12.

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