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19 September 2017, 01:02 | Floyd Cook
India's home ministry said on Monday it would confidentially share intelligence information with the Supreme Court showing Rohingya links with regional militants, in a bid to get legal clearance for plans to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims.
"The government submitted to court that it must not interfere with the executive policy decision on deporting the Rohingya and the court had no jurisdiction on the matter", said Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer who took the case on behalf of two Rohingya refugees in Delhi.
Citing India's large population and its complex social, cultural and economic infrastructure, the Centre said that it would take a decision keeping in mind the larger interest of the nation along with other factors such as its natural resources, requirements of the country's population and the national security threat it may pose. Over 40,000 of those Rohingyas, who fled Myanmar, have entered India illegally, according to government's estimate. "Whatever government will do, will be in nation's interest", Rijiju told reporters ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.
India has also not been a signatory of the 1951 UN Convention or the 1967 Protocol - both relating to the Status of Refugees and included in the UNHCR statute.
The Centre claimed that India can not be held to the provisions of the conventions mentioned by the refugees.
It says the Rohingya can not use the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees since India was not a signatory to either. It further said that the fundamental right to reside and settle in any part of the country is available to citizens only and illegal refugees can not invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to enforce the right.
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