The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an urgent plea made by two Rohingya Muslim immigrants against the government’s proposed move to deport their 40,000-strong refugee community back to their native Myanmar, where discrimination and possibly summary executions await them.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud decided to hear the plea of Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir for protection of the life and liberty of their community on September 4.
Protection to life
The duo, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva, said the Centre’s move to deport them violated the constitutional guarantee that the Indian state should “protect the life and liberty of every human being, whether citizen or not.”
“If they are deported, they may be executed,” Mr. Bhushan submitted in an urgent mentioning.
Recently, the National Human Rights Commission issued notice to the government on the proposed deportation plan.
Panic struck the refugee community following media reports of a statement by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in Parliament in early August that the Central government has directed the States to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingya.
“The proposed deportation is contrary to the constitutional protections of Article 14 (equality), Article 21 (right to life) and Article 51(c) (respect for international law and treaty obligations) of the Constitution... despite these constitutional and statutory requirements, the respondent 1 (Union) has failed to carry out their obligations to ensure protection to the Rohingya community by proposing to deport them to Myanmar,” the petition contended.