The Centre’s Narendra Modi government on Monday told the Supreme Court that India was not bound by any international treaty on refugees and Rohingya Muslims currently residing in the country will have to go.
In its new affidavit submitted before the apex court, the Centre said, “That the provisions of Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967 cannot be relied upon by the petitioner since India is not a signatory of either of them. It is respectfully submitted that the obligation concerning the prohibition of return/ non-refoulement is a codified provision under the provisions of 1951 Convention referred to above.
“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.”
The Centre also claimed that the Rohingya Muslims were “illegal” immigrants in the country and their countinous stay posed “serious national security ramifications”.
“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 Centre said the Rohingya refugees were illegals and their continuous stay poses a grave security threat.
“It is submitted that continuance of Rohingyas’ illegal immigration into India and their continued stay in India, apart from being absolutely illegal, is found to be having serious national security ramifications and has serious security threats.”
The matter is being heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra with other two judges being Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and D. Y. Chandrachud.
The plea has been filed by two Rohingya immigrants, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, who are registered refugees under the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR).
More than three lakhs Rohingya Muslims have had to abandon their homes in Myanmar to escape genocide committed by Budhist terrorists and Burmese army at the behest of the Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. More than 500 Rohingya Muslims have been killed brutally so far in the latest spate of attacks.
Most of the Rohingya Muslims currently settled in in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.