SC Dismisses Plea Against Deportation 7 Rohingya Refugees To Myanmar
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday dismissed an interim application seeking a stay on the proposed deportation of 7 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
The bench, also comprising Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph, attached weight to the Centre’s submission that the concerned refugees have been found to be illegal immigrants.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing on behalf of the petitioners, advanced,
“These persons had arrived in 2012, fleeing for their lives. The genocide and the barbarianism had started then. These people were the first to come....the Myanmar government has refused to recognise them as their citizens and they are considered as stateless individuals. This is one of the reasons of the genocide against them! Every UN agency has stated that this is the worst instance of mass killings, one they have never seen before, where tens of thousands of people were slaughtered....they have been through unimaginable torture....about 500,000 of them fled to Bangladesh and some 40-50 thousand to India to save their lives....they are not illegal immigrants but only refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees agrees with this....Now the government of India is saying that because they were in detention since 2012, they should be allowed to go back....if truly wish to, they are most welcome to go back. Let any UN Human Rights Commissioner go and inspect the situation. They cannot be compelled to return under duress!”
In his turn, ASG Tushar Mehta contended,
“these conclusions are based on newspaper reports....The state of Assam has received details of 19 persons including these 7. They had entered India as illegal immigrants and were arrested under the Foreigners’ Act....the Myanmar government has now agreed to issue the COI (Certificate of Identity) to these people. The COI is a travel document issued in the absence of any other identification document. The government has even sought the help of our External Affairs Ministry for the deportation of these people to Myanmar....”
“They have been found to be illegal immigrants. Their country of origin has accepted them as citizens”, confirmed the Chief Justice.
When the bench proceeded to dismiss the application, not being inclined to intervene, Mr. Bhushan persisted, “Human rights are at stake....they will be killed if they go back....Article 21 is being violated....”
Cutting across, Chief Justice Gogoi observed, “No....this is not necessary....we have heard you, Mr. Bhushan....please do not go as far as the Constitution”