The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and all states on a PIL seeking its direction to them to frame guidelines to protect the people from North-eastern states in various parts of the country against alleged racial discrimination.
A bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi sought response from the authorities within four weeks on the issue.
The apex court initially expressed reluctance to entertain the plea on the ground that the Delhi High Court is hearing a similar petition but it agreed to examine the issue after the petitioners pleaded that racial discrimination is prevalent across the country and the matter can be addressed by the highest court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the proceedings in the High Court were confined to the national capital and appealed to the apex court to examine the issue.
The petition filed by seven advocates, some of them belonging to north east, highlighted the recent attacks on North-eastern people, including the death of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania who was beaten by shopkeepers in south Delhi.
They submitted that there was no system in place by the Ministry of Home Affairs to protect these people.
The petition alleged that people from North-eastern region of the country, who move out of their states in search of better opportunities for studies and jobs, were subjected to racial taunts and violence on a daily basis due to their physical appearance at the hands of people of their own country.
“Most of the people from the region, who return to their states, have one or two tales of horrid, unspeakable and unimaginable proportions where they have been discriminated, taunted, molested, raped....all because of their outward appearances,” it said.