SC Puts Centre's Plans to Deport Rohingya Muslims on Hold

SC Puts Centre's Plans to Deport Rohingya Muslims on Hold

On Monday, a day before the hearing in Supreme Court, a group of 51 eminent citizens have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider its approach on the Rohingya issue. "The issue involves human rights of many", the bench said.

The hearing was done by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice, Dipak Misra.

Nariman said if the government had any specific information about any Rohingya persons being terrorists, those people could be excluded, but he opposed a mass deportation. The court deferred the matter to November 21.

He pointed out that even during the earlier hearings, the petitioners had been given the liberty, in case of contingency, to approach the Court, but no such contingency had arisen between the last hearing and today.

The apex court chose to give a detailed and holistic hearing from the 21st of next month on the government's decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar.

In a strongly-worded observation, the Supreme Court reminded the government that it has multiple responsibilities, and must balance national and humanitarian values.

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News agency ANI quoted the SC bench as saying that national importance can not be secondary and at the same time, the human rights of the Rohingyas should be kept in mind.

The bench also underscored that the court would take a holistic view, go strictly by legal principles and not be swayed by emotions or other considerations.

"Since the circular asked State governments to identify and deport the Rohingya, the meeting discussed threadbare who will bear the expenses of keeping them in camps till their nationality is decided".

Petitioners representing the Rohingya community told the court that they had come to India fleeing persecution from Myanmar on basis of their community identity and sought refuge. Some 3,79,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar since violence against them in Rakhine state started on August 25, after Rohingya militants attacked police posts there.

"Can we infer some philosophies (such as a humanitarian philosophy) from the constitution to ask the government to interpret statutes accordingly?"

According to the Ministry's estimate, there are around 40,000 Rohingya in India, of which around 5,700 are in Jammu.

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