Supreme Court seeks government’s stance on deporting Rohingya Muslim refugees

Supreme Court seeks government's stance on deporting Rohingya Muslim refugees

The cause:

  • Repeated and violent attacks, allegedly by Myanmar’s army have again led to an overwhelming exodus of Rohingya tribals into Bangladesh and India.
    • During an earlier, similar round of violence, many of them who fled to India had settled in its northern states, particularly in Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, UP, Haryana, Hyderabad and Jammu.

 

The case:

  • A petition challenging the government’s decision to deport illegal Rohingya immigrants was filed by two Rohingya immigrants in India, Mohammad Shaqir and Mohammad Salimullah.
  • It came up before the bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
  • On Monday, the Supreme Court sought to know the government’s stand, and subsequently the bench has advised Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta to seek instructions from the government regarding the same.
  • The petition has challenged the government’s decision, particularly calling the move to be against international human rights conventions.
  • This matter has now been posted for September 11.
  • Appearing on behalf of the two Rohingya immigrants, advocate Prashant Bhushan wanted an assurance from the government that it wouldn’t take any steps – particularly the deportation of existing Rohingya immigrants in India – during the pendency of this petition.
  • In response, though, the ASG said that he wasn’t making any statements.

 

Petition details:

  • The proposed deportation of the Rohingya immigrants by the government “… is contrary to Articles 14, 21 and 51 (c) which stand for Right to Equality, Right to Life and Personal Liberty and provision of Equal Rights and Liberty to Every Person respectively.
  • This deportation will contradict the international principle of “Non-Refoulement”. This is acknowledged internationally as the principle of Customary International Law.
  • The petition also asked that the immigrant Rohingyas in India be provided the basic amenities so that they can exist in human conditions, as required by the existing international laws.
  • It also pointed out that historically India has always accepted refugees from all over the world.

 

In this continuing escalation of violence, the government has conveyed its “serious concern” yet also showed its “strong” support to the government of Myanmar.

 

On a related note, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice on August 18 to the government over its reported plans to deport Rohingya immigrants.

 

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