New Delhi: The Centre on Friday urged the Supreme Court not to intervene in the executive decision on deportation of Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar and it would not be in national interest for the court to issue a direction to stop their deportation.
The Centre filed an affidavit in this regard before a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Kanwilkar and DY Chandrachud hearing a batch of petitions seeking to restrain India from deporting 40,000 Rohingyas to Myanmar.
A direction was also sought to permit the remaining Rohingya refugees to cross over the border and enter India as the Border Security Force is thwarting their entry.
The Centre said India is already facing serious problems of infiltration because of its porous border with other countries, which is the root cause of spread of terrorism in the country, which is taking thousands of lives of innocent citizens and security personnel.
Securing the borders of any sovereign nation in accordance with law, is an essentially function and this court would not issue any direction not only to the Central government but also to all States having a common border.
The Centre pointed out that India is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention relating to status of refugees.
Considering the very peculiar geographical situation existing, namely India sharing its land border with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar, it is not in the interest of national security for this court to issue a direction to stop their deportation.
It said the role of BSF was to ensure security of nation by preventing unauthorised entry of foreigners and prevent trans-border crimes including smuggling and other illegal activity.
The Centre denied the allegation that the Border Security Force (BSF) was using chilli powder and stun grenades to stop the refugees from entering India. It said the steps taken by any border guarding force is strictly in accordance with law, in larger public interest and in the interest of nation.
Denying violation of human rights, the Centre said all agencies tasked with the function of guarding the borders are discharging their duties in accordance with law and complying with human rights in larger national interest.
On providing medical facilities to Rohingyas taken refuge in various States, the Centre said medical facilities are being provided to them in all health care centres.
On giving identity cards to Rohingya refugees, the centre said it is essentially an issue in the domain of policy making and governance by executive. There cannot be issuance of ID card to any refugeee as there being no law passed by Parliament in this regard.
On treating Sri Lankan refugees and Rohingya on par, the Centre said grant of certain facilities to Sri Lankan refugees has its genesis in the Indo-Ceylon agreement of 1964 and hence both refugees cannot be treated alike.