The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would hear on March 25 a plea seeking immediate release of detained Rohingya refugees in Jammu.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde that detained Rohingyas may be deported to Myanmar, which is currently under Army’s control and also seeing violence.
The bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said the court will hear the Rohingya matter on the coming Thursday.
A plea was moved in the Supreme Court seeking immediate release of detained Rohingya refugees in Jammu and also a direction to the Centre to expeditiously grant refugee identification cards through the FRRO for Rohingyas in the camps.
The application filed by Rohingya refugee Mohammad Salimullah, through Bhushan, sought a direction from the top court to the government to refrain from implementing any orders on deporting the Rohingya refugees who have been detained in the Jammu sub-jail.
The plea said the refugees faced an imminent danger of being deported vide the government circular which directs the relevant authorities to identify and expeditiously deport illegal Rohingya refugees. “It (petition) is filed in the public interest, in order to secure and protect the right against deportation of the petitioner refugees in India and to protect Constitutional guarantees under Article 14 and Article 21, read with Article 51(c) of the Constitution of India, against the deportation of Rohingya refugees who have taken refuge in India after escaping widespread violence, bloodshed and discrimination against their community in their home state of Myanmar,” said the plea.
The plea urged the top court to direct the UNHCR to intervene and determine the protection needs of the Rohingya refugees not just in the Jammu but also in camps across the country and complete the process of granting them refugee cards. The plea said according to news reports in this month, nearly 150-170 Rohingya refugees in Jammu are being detained. The petitioner argued that this follows Union Minister Jitendra Singh’s statements two months ago that the Rohingyas wouldn’t be able to secure citizenship.
“In India, no legislation has been passed yet that specifically refers to refugees. Hence, it has, in practice, often clubbed Rohingya refugees with the class of illegal immigrants who may be deported by the government under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners Order, 1948,” it said.