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It is not possible to grant the interim relief: SC on detained Rohingyas in J&K

Top court insists that proper deportation procedure be followed

Sabrangindia 08 Apr 2021

RohingyaImage: https://www.aljazeera.com

The  Supreme Court has refused to pass the order of releasing the detained Rohingyas in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). According to a report in the Leaflet legal portal, the SC, has said that  “It is not possible to grant the interim relief.” The SC has added that the Rohingyas will not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed.

The ruling came from a bench led by CJI SA Bobde and included justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. The  order was passed on an interim plea seeking to restrain the Central Government from deporting Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The SC bench had added that the due procedure that involved proper identification and acknowledgment of their citizenship by the Myanmar government, must be followed and “no Rohingya from Jammu will be deported without the procedure to be followed in such cases,” reported The Hindustan Times. 

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, submitted on behalf of the applicants that news reports had been doing rounds since March 7, 2021 of the nearly 150-170 Rohingya refugees in Jammu being detained, reported the Leaflet. The application stated, “This follows the Union Minister Jitendra Singh’s statements two months ago that the Rohingya (identified as Muslim refugees by the government) wouldn’t be able to secure citizenship. These refugees have been illegally detained and jailed in the Jammu Sub Jail which has been converted into a holding centre with the IGP (Jammu) Mukesh Singh stating that they face deportation back to Myanmar following verification by their embassy.” 

The plea adds that “such deportation would violate the principle of ‘Non-Refoulement’ of refugees, which has been widely recognised in several international conventions to which India is a signatory, and is also recognized as a jus cogens (fundamental and non-derogable) principle of Customary International Law,” stated the report. It was alleged that despite all this the Centre had “failed to carry out their obligations to ensure the protection to the Rohingya community, by proposing to deport them to Myanmar where they face serious violence and persecution.”

According to the report in the Hindustan Times, the government had called the Rohingya “absolutely illegal immigrants” who posed “serious threats to national security”. The Centre also contended that the “right to settle in India could not be asserted by illegal immigrants under the garb of the Constitution’s Article 21”. On March 26 the Centre had opposed the plea by Mohammad Salimullah while emphasising that India cannot become “the international capital of illegal immigrants”. 

On March 6, on the instructions of the Union ministry of home affairs, the Jammu & Kashmir administration started a verification drive of the Rohingya, and moved some of them to a holding centre, pending their potential deportation. Around 170 Rohingya refugees were detained as they reportedly did not have “valid documents”. Hindustan Times had then  quoted Inspector General of Police (Jammu) Mukesh Singh as saying, “These immigrants were not holding valid travel documents required in terms of Section (3) of the Passports Act.” Those detained were lodged at the Hiranagar sub-jail under Section 3 (2) (e) of the Foreigners Act. According to IGP Singh, “Their nationality verification will be done as per the prescribed norms,” adding that “the process to deport these illegal immigrants will be initiated.” 

According to the IE, around 5,000-6,000 Rohingya have set up camps at various sites on the outskirts of Jammu over the past decade. They have all arrived here citing “extreme persecution” back home in Myanmar, and the latest detentions have “triggered despair and anger.” 

Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had on March 26 submitted that a similar application to stop the deportation of Rohingya from Assam was dismissed by the top court in 2018 and that the present application must meet the same fate, reported HT. According to the news report, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Jammu & Kashmir administration,  cautioned the bench against “starting a dangerous trend” by interfering with a subject related to illegal immigrants and diplomatic relations with another country.

Related:

Minor Rohingya girl to be deported to Myanmar

Manipur: CSCHR says gov’t must protect Myanmar citizens facing persecution

Will India face the impact of US sanctions on Myanmar military companies?

India seals all entry points along Myanmar border

It is not possible to grant the interim relief: SC on detained Rohingyas in J&K

Top court insists that proper deportation procedure be followed

RohingyaImage: https://www.aljazeera.com

The  Supreme Court has refused to pass the order of releasing the detained Rohingyas in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). According to a report in the Leaflet legal portal, the SC, has said that  “It is not possible to grant the interim relief.” The SC has added that the Rohingyas will not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed.

The ruling came from a bench led by CJI SA Bobde and included justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. The  order was passed on an interim plea seeking to restrain the Central Government from deporting Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The SC bench had added that the due procedure that involved proper identification and acknowledgment of their citizenship by the Myanmar government, must be followed and “no Rohingya from Jammu will be deported without the procedure to be followed in such cases,” reported The Hindustan Times. 

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, submitted on behalf of the applicants that news reports had been doing rounds since March 7, 2021 of the nearly 150-170 Rohingya refugees in Jammu being detained, reported the Leaflet. The application stated, “This follows the Union Minister Jitendra Singh’s statements two months ago that the Rohingya (identified as Muslim refugees by the government) wouldn’t be able to secure citizenship. These refugees have been illegally detained and jailed in the Jammu Sub Jail which has been converted into a holding centre with the IGP (Jammu) Mukesh Singh stating that they face deportation back to Myanmar following verification by their embassy.” 

The plea adds that “such deportation would violate the principle of ‘Non-Refoulement’ of refugees, which has been widely recognised in several international conventions to which India is a signatory, and is also recognized as a jus cogens (fundamental and non-derogable) principle of Customary International Law,” stated the report. It was alleged that despite all this the Centre had “failed to carry out their obligations to ensure the protection to the Rohingya community, by proposing to deport them to Myanmar where they face serious violence and persecution.”

According to the report in the Hindustan Times, the government had called the Rohingya “absolutely illegal immigrants” who posed “serious threats to national security”. The Centre also contended that the “right to settle in India could not be asserted by illegal immigrants under the garb of the Constitution’s Article 21”. On March 26 the Centre had opposed the plea by Mohammad Salimullah while emphasising that India cannot become “the international capital of illegal immigrants”. 

On March 6, on the instructions of the Union ministry of home affairs, the Jammu & Kashmir administration started a verification drive of the Rohingya, and moved some of them to a holding centre, pending their potential deportation. Around 170 Rohingya refugees were detained as they reportedly did not have “valid documents”. Hindustan Times had then  quoted Inspector General of Police (Jammu) Mukesh Singh as saying, “These immigrants were not holding valid travel documents required in terms of Section (3) of the Passports Act.” Those detained were lodged at the Hiranagar sub-jail under Section 3 (2) (e) of the Foreigners Act. According to IGP Singh, “Their nationality verification will be done as per the prescribed norms,” adding that “the process to deport these illegal immigrants will be initiated.” 

According to the IE, around 5,000-6,000 Rohingya have set up camps at various sites on the outskirts of Jammu over the past decade. They have all arrived here citing “extreme persecution” back home in Myanmar, and the latest detentions have “triggered despair and anger.” 

Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had on March 26 submitted that a similar application to stop the deportation of Rohingya from Assam was dismissed by the top court in 2018 and that the present application must meet the same fate, reported HT. According to the news report, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Jammu & Kashmir administration,  cautioned the bench against “starting a dangerous trend” by interfering with a subject related to illegal immigrants and diplomatic relations with another country.

Related:

Minor Rohingya girl to be deported to Myanmar

Manipur: CSCHR says gov’t must protect Myanmar citizens facing persecution

Will India face the impact of US sanctions on Myanmar military companies?

India seals all entry points along Myanmar border

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