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Rohingya: Supreme Court has not stayed deportation [Read order]

Rohingya: Supreme Court has not stayed deportation [Read order]

Murali Krishnan

Contrary to media reports, the Supreme Court has not stayed the deportation of Rohingya refugees from India.

A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, in its order today, has merely adjourned the case while recording the submission of Senior Advocate Fali Nariman (who appeared for Rohingya petitioners) that he will approach the Supreme Court in case of any contingency.

Interestingly, the Court had initially started to dictate an order staying the deportation of Rohingyas. However, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Central government, strongly opposed the same.

He pointed out that even during the earlier hearings, the petitioners had been given the liberty, in case of contingency, to approach the Court, but no such contingency had arisen between the last hearing and today.

Misra J. then said that he will pass an order stating that in case of contingency, the petitioner will be at liberty to approach the Court.

Mehta opposed this too saying that any order by the Court will have international ramifications and that that the Centre is not oblivious to its duties.

Misra J. then said that the Court will simply state in its order that the matter is sub-judice. But Mehta opposed again stating that government will have to face ramifications of any observations by the Court at international level.

The Bench relented and simply recorded the submission of Fali Nariman in its order:

“Mr. Fali S. Nariman submits that in case of any contingency, he will approach this Court.”

The Court then posted the case for hearing on November 21.

During the hearing, however, the Court did indeed make some pertinent observations on how it will have to balance humanitarian interest with national security and that as a Constitutional court, it cannot be oblivious to the plight of women and children.

Thus, though the Court made it clear that it would not want deportation of Rohingyas till the matter is decided one way or the other, there is no order to that effect as of now except the Centre’s word on the issue that no contingency will arise.

Read the order below.