Supreme Court puts government’s Rohingya deportation plans on hold

The Supreme Court today deferred the deportation of Rohingya Muslim refugees from India till its next hearing on November 21 and said there is not an “iota of doubt” that a humanitarian approach should be taken on the matter.

In a strongly-worded observation, the Supreme Court reminded the government that it has multiple responsibilities, and must balance national and humanitarian values. It said the Rohingya Muslims issue is of great magnitude and the state has a big role to play.

“The Constitution is based on humanitarian values. The state has a multi-pronged role. While national security and economic interests need to be secured, innocent women and children cannot be ignored,” the apex court said.

The Supreme Court said on Friday, “We have to strike a balance. It is not an ordinary case. The issue involves human rights of many.”

Tushar Mehta, arguing for the Centre, told the 3-judge SC bench that “this is an issue involving international ramifications.” The apex court has told the Centre that needs to inform the court about any contingency plans it might have.

The Centre on Monday had filed an affidavit in the SC on a plea against the deportation of Rohingya refugees from India. It told the court that the total number of “such illegal immigrants” would be more than 40,000.