Need to balance national interest, human rights on Rohingya refugees: SC

The Supreme Court has asked Union Government to strike a balance between humanitarian concern for Rohingya community staying in India and country’s economic and national security interests.

The apex court unlined that both executive and judiciary cannot be totally oblivious to condition of women and children among Rohingya refugees and said that crisis has thrown up an extraordinary situation. With this, the status quo held by Government continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in case of any contingency.

Background

The SC was hearing on petition filed by two Rohingya Muslim refugees for protection of the life and liberty of their community challenging Union Government’s move to deport them from country. Petitioners in their plea had mentioned Government’s move violated tconstitutional guarantee that Indian state should protect the life and liberty of every human being, whether citizen or not. As per petition, Government’s proposed deportation is contrary to Indian constitutional protections guaranteed under Article 14 (equality), Article 21 (right to life) and Article 51(c) (respect for international law and treaty obligations) of the Constitution.

Rohingya Issue

Rohingya is ethnic Muslim minority group, largely comprising Muslims living primarily in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. They differ from Myanmar’s dominant Buddhist groups religiously, ethnically and linguistically. They practice a Sufi-inflected variation of Sunni Islam. They speak Bengali dialect, as opposed to commonly spoken Burmese language in Myanmar.

Myanmar considers Rohingya’s as illegal Bengali immigrants, despite fact that many they have resided in Rakhine province of Myanmar for centuries. Myanmar government even refuses to grant them citizenship status, and as a result they do not have any legal documentation, effectively making them stateless. They are also restricted from freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs. UN has often described Rohingyas as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

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Categories: India Current Affairs 2017

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