SC puts on hold Centre's plan to deport Rohingyas

SC puts on hold Centre's plan to deport Rohingyas

The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on the deportation of Rohingya Muslims in India to 21 November.

The apex court stated, 'We have to strike a balance.

The government also said if allowed to stay, the Rohingya refugees would exhaust natural resources meant for Indians that could culminate in hostility towards them and lead to social tension and law and order problems. It is not an ordinary case.

On the earlier date of hearing, the court had told the government to adopt a humanitarian approach while dealing with the Rohingya Muslim issue. "The issue involves human rights of many", the bench said.

The apex court earlier asked Centre and two Rohingya Muslims, who have challenged to deport refugees to Myanmar, to desist from making emotional arguments and personal attacks and to file documents, including global conventions.

The Supreme Court said today the Indian government must balance national security with humanity and directed the Centre not to deport Rohingyas till the case is heard.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the government would not like the matter to be heard in a piecemeal manner as it has wide ramifications and added that it would prefer a day for detailed hearing.

There are an estimated 40,000 Rohingya refugees in the country, a large number of them living in squalid camps in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

"India's justification to deport the Rohingyas to Myanmar is premised on the false assumption that all of them present a potential threat to national security". India also told the United Nations Human Rights Council that the prevailing situation in Myanmar's Rakhine state should be handled with "restraint" and focus on the "welfare of the civilian population".

Signatories to the letter include ex-Finance minister P Chidambaram, Congress leader Sashi Tharoor, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former Union Home secretary GK Pillai, Member of Parliament Majeed Memon, former Army officer and columnist Ajai Shukla, activist Teesta Setalvad, and actress Swara Bhaskar.

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