The Supreme Court has announced that it would hear a petition for the release of Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu on March 25. The plea filed by Mohammad Salimullah, a Rohingya refugee, seeks the immediate release of refugees and a direction to the Centre to grant those in camps with refugee identification cards and refrain from implementing any orders on deporting the refugees detained in Jammu sub-jail.
"It (petition) is filed in the public interest, in order to secure and protect the right against deportation of the petitioner refugees in India and to protect Constitutional guarantees under Article 14 and Article 21, read with Article 51(c) of the Constitution of India, against the deportation of Rohingya refugees who have taken refuge in India after escaping widespread violence, bloodshed and discrimination against their community in their home state of Myanmar," reads the plea.
The plea also requests the apex court to direct the UNHCR to determine the protection needs of the Rohingyas across the country. It notes that two months ago, Union Minister Jitendra Singh had said that Rohingyas would not be able to secure citizenship and that nearly 150-170 Rohingya refugees are currently detained in Jammu.
"In India, no legislation has been passed yet that specifically refers to refugees. Hence, it has, in practice, often clubbed Rohingya refugees with the class of illegal immigrants who may be deported by the government under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners Order, 1948," it said.