Day 8 Arguments: 4th October 2018

The Supreme Court declined to interfere with the decision of the Central Government to deport 7 Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. The 7 Rohingyas that are to be deported have been detained in the Silchar Detention Centre in Assam since 2012. 

 

The Court was hearing a fresh plea filed by Mr. Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday. Mr. Bhushan had filed an application in the pending case against the deportation of Rohingyas. The original petition was filed by two persons belonging to the Rohingya Muslim Community, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir. 

 

Pursuant to the decision of the Central Government to deport the 7 Rohingyas to Myanmar, Mr. Bhushan had filed the aforesaid fresh application praying  for the Court to "pass an order restraining the Union of India from taking any step towards the deportations of Rohingya refugees lodged in jails or detention centers in any part of the country in contravention of non-derogable principles of customary international laws and during the pendency of the case before the court."

 

The Bench comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Justice K M Joseph on Wednesday, while refusing to entertain the request for urgent hearing upon mentioning of the matter by Mr Bhushan, had observed that they would peruse the file and accordingly decide whether the case was to be taken up for hearing. The matter was accordingly listed for hearing today. In response, the Central Government submitted that Myanmar had accepted to take the 7 Rohingyas in question as their citizens.

 

According to estimates by the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims living as undocumented refugees in various parts of India. The Government claims that about 10,000 live in Jammu and Kashmir, with the rest spread out primarlily in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan, amongst other States. In a first, the 7 Rohingyas will be deported back to Myamnar from India and handed over to Myanmar authorities at the Moreh border post in Manipur.

 

The next hearing is likely on 12th October 2018.