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Supreme Court rejects Prashant Bhushan’s petition seeking stay of deportation of Rohingyas

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising chief justice Ranjan Gogoi, justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph dismissed a petition to prevent India from deporting illegal Rohingya immigrants to Bangladesh. This order of the court clears the path for deporting 1st batch of Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar.

As we had reported earlier, India is sending 7 Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar today. The persons were held in a detention camp in Silchar in Assam since 2012 after they were arrested by Assam police. They were already transported to the border town Moreh in Manipur yesterday, the immigrants will be handed over to Myanmar authorities at the Moreh border post. Myanmar authorities have already confirmed the identity of the persons and have granted necessary travel permits.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan had filed a petition on behalf of Mohammad Salimullah, a Rohingya refugee, to prevent the Indian government from deporting Rohingya immigrants to Myanmar. Yesterday, Bhushan had mentioned the case in the court of Chief Justice requesting an urgent hearing. On his first day as Chief Justice, Ranjan Gogoi refused to take the case for urgent hearing, saying the matter does not deserve such urgency. He had commented, “if they are deported, we can always get them back if it’s (deportation) wrong. Do not worry.”

The petition had requested the top court to “pass an order restraining the Union of India from taking any steps towards the deportation of any Rohingya refugees lodged in jails or detention centres in Assam or other parts of the country in contravention of non-derogable principles of customary international law and during the pendency of the case”. Taking up the petition, the three-bench judge dismissed it today, clearing the path for sending back the 7 Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar. The court said that the immigrants were already convicted and Myanmar is also ready to accept them, so there is no reason to block the deportation.

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This plea was filed as a part of an ongoing petition against Indian government’s decision to deport over 40,000 Rohingya immigrants back which was filed last year.

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