The Supreme Court on Thursday said that Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu cannot be extradited to Myanmar without following the prescribed procedures.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubrahmanyam passed the order on a plea in which the Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu were immediately released and banned from extraditing Myanmar, Was requested to give instructions to the center.
The Supreme Court bench refused to grant any immediate interim relief to these refugees.
Referring to reports of their “imminent…deportation”, the plea had said, “This goes against India’s commitment to refugee protection and its obligations against refouling refugees to a place where they face persecution and is a violation of the Article 21 rights of all Rohingya persons living in India.”
However, the top court’s order also means that now Rohingyas can be deported back to Myanmar, rejecting a clause in the plea which had sought stalling of deportation process and providing refugee cards to Rohingyas.
On behalf of the central government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that in 2018 a similar petition has been dismissed in Assam. On behalf of the petitioner, advocate Prashant Bhushan said that Rohingya children are murdered and have to face sexual harassment.
Last month, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has placed 168 Rohingya refugees living in Jammu by building a holding center in Hiranagar Jail in Kathua under the Foreign Act. These people also include women and children.