New Delhi, Sep 18: The Centre today told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya Muslims are "illegal" immigrants in the country and their continous stay posed "serious national security ramifications". The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar started in 2012 as the apex court directed an October 3 hearing on a petition challenging their deportation. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the hearing for October as the Centre told the bench that they would be filing their response during the day. The government has recently raised "serious concern" over reports of renewed violence and attacks in Myanmar and extended its "strong" support to the Myanmar government at this "challenging moment". Here are 10 things you must know:
1. Adjourning the hearing, the court asked the petitioner and others to file their rejoinder to the Centre's stand before the next date of hearing.
2. The Centre told the top court not to interfere in the matter as it was an "essential executive" function of policy decision in the larger national interest. "The continued stay of Rohingyas in India apart from being absolutely illegal is found to be having national security ramification and has serious security threats," the Centre said in its affidavit.
3. the court that the presence of Rohingyas in India would be a drain on the resources of the country and would affect the rights of the people, the Centre on Monday pointed to the court about some of the Rohingyas having contacts with Pakistan-based terror outfits.
4. It further said that due to the large influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, the demographic profile of the some of the bordering states had undergone a serious change.
5. The Centre's affidavit, filed in the apex court Registry, said the fundamental right to reside and settle in any part of the country is available to citizens only and illegal refugees cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to enforce the right.
6. "As evident from the constitutional guarantee flowing from Article 19 of the Constitution, the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India as well as right to move freely throughout the territory of India is available only to the citizens of India... No illegal immigrant can pray for a writ of this Court which directly or indirectly confer the fundamental rights in general...," the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
7.The Centre said the Rohingya refugees were illegals and their continuous stay pose a grave security threat. The government said it may file in sealed cover the details of the security threats and inputs gathered by the various security agencies in this matter.
8.The Centre said that since India is not a signatory to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, the obligations concerned to non-refoulement is not applicable."It is submitted that this obligation is binding only in respect of the States which are parties to the Convention. Since India is not a party to the said Convention, or the said Protocol, the obligations contained therein are not applicable to India," it said.
9. The plea, filed by two Rohingya immigrants, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, who are registered refugees under the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), claimed they had taken refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.
10.The violent attacks allegedly by Myanmarese armymen have led to an exodus of Rohingya tribals from the western Rakhine state in that country to India and Bangladesh. Many of those who had fled to India after the earlier spate of violence, were settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan. The plea said that India has ratified and is a signatory to various conventions that recognise the Principle of "Non- Refoulement', which prohibits deportation of refugees to a country where they may face threat to their lives.
News24Bureau with Agencies