Supreme Court (Representative image)
The Supreme Court on April 8 ruled out the deportation of Rohingya immigrants till the laid down norms are followed.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said the deportation can take place only if the prescribed procedure is adhered to.
The apex court's order came in response to an interim plea moved by a Rohingya refugee, Mohammad Salimullah, following the detention of around 170 Rohingya immigrants in Jammu last month.
The petitioner had knocked the Supreme Court seeking "protection from deportation" and immediate release of the refugees detained in Jammu.
The plea had stated that it is filed to protect rights guaranteed under Article 14 and Article 21, read with Article 51(c) of the Indian Constitution, against the deportation of Rohingya refugees who have taken refuge in India after escaping widespread violence and discrimination against their community in Myanmar.
"It is not possible to grant the interim relief. However it is made clear that the Rohingyas in Jammu on whose behalf the application has been moved shall not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed," the court said while issuing the order.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who represented the petitioner before the top court during the proceedings on March 25, had pointed out that the Rohingyas in Myanmar were subjected to "killing, maiming and sexual exploitation", which forced them to flee to neighbouring India and Bangladesh.
The Myanmar military has "failed to respect international humanitarian law", Bhushan had told the Chief Justice-headed bench. Under such circumstances, India should not deport the Rohingya refugees who fled persecution, he argued.
The Centre had opposed the Rohingya refugee's plea, claiming that India cannot become a "capital for illegal immigrants".
“There was a similar application for Assam earlier. They (petitioners) wanted that no Rohingya be deported, we had said that we will follow the law. They are illegal immigrants. We are always in touch with Myanmar and when they confirm that the individual is their citizen, then only deportation can take place,” the Centre submitted before the court.
The Rohingya crisis emerged over the past decade, after the Myanmar military reportedly launched a crackdown on the minority community members living in western Rakhine state of the country.
Many of the Rohingya refugees, who had fled to India after the spate of violence, have reportedly settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.With PTI inputs.