The Union Home Ministry on Friday said that the Supreme Court ruling on Rohingya do not give any reprieve to the petitioners, and that the Centre’s instructions to states and Union Territories on identification and deportation of illegal migrants stands valid. The Centre’s observation came after the Supreme Court decided to give a detailed order on the petition on November 21.
A Home Ministry spokesperson said, “The matter pertaining to deportation of Rohingya came up for hearing before the Supreme Court. The Central government is of the opinion that deportation of illegal immigrants has to be dealt with only by the Central government because it is essentially an executive function (of the government).”
The ministry had issued instructions to states and Union Territories on August 8. Pointing out that the court has not stayed deportation of Rohingya, a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson said, “No interim order has been granted. The Supreme Court has merely recorded the statement of the counsel for the petitioner — to the effect that in case of any contingency, he (petitioner) can move the court for appropriate interim order.”
A senior MHA official said, “The questions regarding illegal immigrants needs to be examined keeping in mind diplomatic consideration, internal security situation, demographic changes in the country, and duties of the Central government towards its own citizens. It was, therefore, desirable that these issues ought to be handled by policy-making function of the executive.” Need to balance national interest, human rights: Supreme Court on Rohingya refugees
The apex court has observed that a balance has to be struck between national interest and human rights as the issue involved national security, economic interests and humanity. Maintaining that Friday’s development in court is a vindication of the MHA’s stand, a ministry official said the Central government is duty-bound to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens first. “The MHA circular to the states on deportation of Rohingyas stands,” the official maintained.
In its communication to states on August 8, the ministry had said that “illegal immigrants not only infringe on the rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges”. Infiltration of Rohingyas from Myanmar into Indian territory, especially in recent years, “besides being (a) burden on the limited resources of the country also aggravates security challenges posed to India”, it said.