Supreme Court allows deportation of seven Rohingya refugees, dismisses application seeking stay

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] three-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph on October 4, 2018 dismissed an application filed through Advocate Prashant Bhushan praying for the restraint order against deportation of any Rohingya refugee lodged in jails or detention centres in Assam or any other part of the country.

In the application, proposed deportation of 7 Rohingya men —  who are presently held in Silichar Central jail in State of Assam — was brought to the notice of the Court. Though the case was to be taken up as item no.3 in the CJI’s court, on the request of the advocate on behalf of the applicants, the matter was taken up as first item in view of the urgency of the case.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on behalf of the Union of India tendered affidavit stating that said the seven persons were found illegal immigration by the competent court, Myanmar had accepted them nationals and citizens of their nation, the Embassy of Myanmar had issued COI, a temporary travel document, the Embassy of Myanmar requested for their arrangements to be made for their repatriation, and lastly that the said seven persons were in housed detention centre since 2012, and are now being accepted by country of their origin.

On the other hand, Advocate Prashant Bhushan contended for the verification by the UN officials since they cannot be compelled to go back under duress. However, no contention of Advocate Bhushan found favour from the bench headed by CJI Gogoi, who dismissed the application after hearing both the parties. Before dismissing the application, CJI Gogoi told Advocate Bhushan “immigrants under question have been convicted. And also Myanmar is ready to accept them as their nationals”.