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[Breaking] Calcutta HC Stays Deportation Of Rohingya Couple To 'Uphold The Spirit Of Humanity' [Read Order]

Ashok Kini
25 Dec 2019 3:02 PM GMT
[Breaking] Calcutta HC Stays Deportation Of Rohingya Couple To

"A minimum protection ought to be given to the petitioners till the writ petition is decided, in order to uphold the spirit of humanity, if not the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, which is the grundnorm of all Indian statutes."

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The Calcutta High Court, on Tuesday, granted relief to a "Rohingya" couple facing deportation to Myanmar.

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya not only issued an order of injunction during the pendency of the writ petition from deporting them from India, but also directed the state authorities to ensure that the couple are provided with the basic amenities, compatible with a life worthy of respect.

The judge observed that protection is being granted 'in order to uphold the spirit of humanity, if not the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, which is the grundnorm of all Indian statutes.'

Abdur Sukur and Anowara Begum, who belong to the "Rohingya" Community, in their writ petition, submitted before the Court that they are at present state-less as Myanmar has disowned them. They submitted that they are about to be deported to Myanmar by Indian authorities and such deportation would tantamount to a death sentence against them. According to them, Myanmar has the declared policy of an all-out onslaught on the said "Rohingya" Community.

While passing an order of injunction, Justice Bhattacharyya observed:

"In view of the imminent plight of the petitioners, who, despite having basic human rights in consonance with the Fundamental Rights provided by the Constitution of India as well as the U.N. Charter and the norms of any civilized society, a minimum protection ought to be given to the petitioners till the writ petition is decided, in order to uphold the spirit of humanity, if not the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, which is the grundnorm of all Indian statutes."

Posting the writ petition "for hearing" on January 20, 2020, the court observed thus, in its order:

The respondents shall be restrained by an order of injunction from deporting the petitioners from India during pendency of the writ petition. The respondents are further directed to ensure that the petitioners are provided with the basic amenities, compatible with a life worthy of respect. It is further clarified that, if the advocate-on-record and/or any other advocate, representing the petitioners, seeks leave to have access to the petitioners in the meantime, such advocate(s) will be granted such access by the respondents to the limited extent that the respondents might monitor the timing of such access and such access may be, at the discretion of the respondents, under the supervision of the respondents.

Petition Challenging Deportation of Rohingyas Pending Before SC

A writ petition challenging the Centre's decision to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, who have taken refuge in India to escape persecution in Myanmar is pending before the Supreme Court since September 2017. But the Court has not granted interim protection. Responding to this plea, the Centre in its affidavit before the Supreme Court has submitted that continuance of Rohingyas' illegal immigration into India and their continued stay in India, apart from being absolutely illegal, is found to be having serious national security ramifications and has serious security threats.

The Court had then posted this case, along with connected writ petitions [filed as early as in 2013], for final hearing in April 2018. However, the petitions are still pending, and are seen to be posted on 10.01.2020.

Around 40,000 refugees belonging to Rohingya community, who faced persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, are said to be residing in India. Apart from West Bengal, they  are spread over Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

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