The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the deportation of seven Rohingyas to Myanmar, saying they were found by the competent court as illegal immigrants and have been accepted by their country of origin as citizens.
“Having considered the prayer, we would not like to interfere with the decision taken. The petition is dismissed,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.
“Even the country of their origin has accepted them as its citizens,” it said.
The bench rejected the plea made by one of the Rohingyas, who had filed an application seeking to restrain the Centre from deporting to Myanmar the seven Rohingyas lodged in a detention centre at Silchar in Assam.
The Centre told the apex court that the seven Rohingyas illegally migrated to India in 2012 and were convicted under the Foreigners Act.
The Centre also informed the court that Myanmar has issued a certificate of identity to the seven Rohingyas along with one month visa to facilitate their deportation.
“Myanmar government gave them certificate of identity and one month visa to facilitate their deportation,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench.
The application was filed by one Jaffarullah, who said Rohingyas should not be deported under any kind of duress as they have migrated due to “genocide” in Myanmar.
Rohingya immigrants will be handed over to Myanmar authorities at Moreh border post in Manipur on Thursday, a Home Ministry official had said Wednesday.
The interim plea, seeking urgent measures to stop the proposed deportation of seven Rohingyas, was filed on a pending PIL.
The PIL was filed earlier by two Rohingya immigrants — Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir — challenging the Centre’s decision to deport over 40,000 refugees who came to India after escaping from Myanmar due to alleged widespread discrimination and violence against the community.
In the fresh plea, advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for the applicant, said Myanmar government had earlier refused to accept these Rohingyas as their citizens.
He alleged that a worst kind of genocide has taken place in Myanmar in which over 10,000 people were killed.
Bhushan further argued that due to the “genocide”, people were killed and their properties destroyed and several lakhs of Rohingyas migrated to Bangladesh and India.
“They are not illegal migrants, but refugees. The court should direct sending UN High Commissioner or his representative to talk to the seven Rohingyas so that they are not deported under any kind of duress,” he said.
The bench said it would not like to interfere with the decision and dismissed the petition.
Bhushan said it is a matter of life and it is the court’s responsibility to see that the lives of Rohingyas are protected.
However, the bench was not in agreement with his submission and said, “You don’t need to remind us of our responsibilities. We very well understand our responsibilities”.