Our Correspondent / New Delhi
The Supreme Court today asked the government of India to strike a balance between the national security, economic interest and the humanitarian consideration involving the Rohingya women, Children, old, sick and infirm.
“We have to strike a balance between national security and economic interests and humanitarian considerations” involving Rohingyas, said Chief Justice Dipak Misra heading the bench also including Justice A.M.Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud.
Chief Justice Misra said, “How we reconcile the national security and economic interests and protection of women, children, old, infirm, sick and innocents” Rohingyas and “How far this court can go.”
Having said this, Chief Justice Misra said, “As a constitutional Court of this country we can’t be oblivious of this and simultaneously the executive too can’t be oblivious of this.”
The Apex court said this as Centre resisted its earlier observation that the government can take action involving Rohingyas where it is necessary but you will not deport them.
“You can take action where it is necessary, you will not deport them”, the bench said. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged told the court not to pass any such order as it would a international ramifications.
In an attempt to persuade the court not to pass such an order, Mehta said, “Where there are international obligations we know our responsibility.”
The court today also clarified that Article 21 guaranteeing right to life and liberty was not available to the citizens alone but all those living in India.
Article 21 says that guarantees the protection of life and liberty says e” No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”
The court’s observation assumes significance as Centre has questioned the maintainability of the petition by the two Rohingya refugees contending that they can’t invoke the jurisdiction of the top court under Article 32 seeking the protection of their right to life and liberty.
As court fixed November 21 for the hearing of the matter for two days, the court permitted amicus curiae Fali Nariman to approach the court in the case of any contingency.
Nariman who said that he was only concerted the human rights told the Centre , “My stand is human rights”.
In his submission Nariman said that the Foreigners Act that provides for the identification and deportation of illegal foreign national there are exception for case of Hindus, Parsees, Budhists, and the Sikhs.
Nariman said that the exceptions under the Foreigners Act should be extended to Rohingya Muslims and Rohingya Hindus.
The court permitted liberty to Nariman to knock its door in the face of contingency as ASG Mehta objected to court saying that the matter is sub-judice.
Mehta was discomforted when court earlier while directing the next hearing on November 21, had said, “Needless to say that the matter is sub-judice”.
He urged the court not to pass any such order as it would have an international ramifications.
The top court was initially moved by one Mohammad Salimullah and another Rohingya refugee seeking top court’s intervention to stop Centre’s moves to deport them.
However, later top court was moved by others supporting government’s stand on deporting them.
Rohingya petitioner Mohammad Salimullah has told the court that they were not illegal immigrants but were refugees who fled Myanmar and came to India for shelter in the wake of their persecution on the grounds of their religion and community identity. They have contended that they were entitled to all protection under the international conventions on refugees and treaties.
On the other hand Centre has asked not to interfere with its policy decision to deport Rohingyas as it alleged that some of them had links with Pakistan and Bangladesh based terror outfits.