Supreme Court says human rights of Rohingya refugees can not be ignored

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A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and Y Chandrachud said the issue was of great magnitude and therefore, the state has a big role. It further rapped the government saying that there is a need to strike a balance between human rights and national security.

The Supreme Court today chose to give a detailed and holistic hearing from November 21 on the contentious issue of government's decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. It is not an ordinary case.

"We can't ignore old women and children among Rohingyas... The issue involves human rights of many", the bench said. "If you (Centre) take any kind of contingency plan, you need to inform this court", the court told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the government.

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On September 18, the Centre told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that they are barring the entry of illegal Rohingyas in the country as they pose a threat to the nation's security as they felt they would pose a threat to national security and integrity. While nearly directing the centre not to deport the Rohingya Muslims from the country, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra said that a balance needs to be struck.

On Monday, a day before the hearing in Supreme Court, a group of 51 eminent citizens have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider its approach on the Rohingya issue.

Many of Rohingya refugees, who had fled to India after the earlier spate of violence, are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan. The court also observed that no Rohingya refugees should be deported until the next date of hearing in the case. In an open letter, 51 prominent names including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, former home minister P Chidambaram, former Union home secretary G K Pillai among others, observed that as an aspiring global leader, India can not afford to adopt a "shortsighted approach".

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