SC refuses to stop deportation of 7 Rohingyas

New Delhi The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stop the deportation of the first batch of seven Rohingyas illegaly settled in Assam’s Silchar since 2012 to Myanmar.

Hearing the plea by Prashant Bhushan on the deportation scheduled on the day, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph dismissed it as the Centre informed that Myanmar has accepted them as their citizens.

Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court these seven Rohingyas were arrested for being illegal immigrants.

They were convicted and have already served their sentence. They have themselves requested to be sent back to their country.

It was upon their request that the Ministry of External Affairs got in touch with the authorities in Myanmar which confirmed them to be their nationals and said were willing to take them back, the Centre told the court.

Appearing for petitioner Mohammad Salimullah, Bhushan told the bench that it should ask the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) first to interview the refugees to know their wishes — whether they wanted to go back.

Bhushan told the court that the Rohingya refugees face the risk of persecution and death if they are deported back to their country.

As Bhushan said it was the apex court’s responsibility to protect their lives, Chief Justice Gogoi said: “You do not have to remind us of our responsibility, we are aware of it.”

The Rohingyas are a minority Muslim community from the Rakhine state in Myanmar.