The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant relief in a petition challenging the detention of Rohingya refugees in Jammu and the move to deport them back to Myanmar.
Stating that “it is not possible to grant interim relief”, a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, ruled: “However, it is made clear that the Rohingyas in Jammu on whose behalf the application has been moved shall not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed.”
The court refused to order the release of nearly 170 Rohingyas detained in the holding centres in Jammu.
The plea, filed by a Rohingya refugee through Advocate Prashant Bhushan, stated: “These refugees have been illegally detained and jailed in the Jammu Sub Jail, which has been converted into a holding centre with the IGP (Jammu) Mukesh Singh stating that they face deportation back to Myanmar following verification by their embassy.”
“This goes against India’s commitment to refugee protection and its obligations against refouling refugees to a place where they face persecution and is a violation of the Article 21 rights of all Rohingya persons living in India,” the plea said.
Last month, the Jammu administration set up “holding centres” under the Foreigners Act in the Hiranagar Sub-Jail in Kathua. It rounded up 168 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, and placed them there.