Govt counsel says the affidavit is in the process of being finalised and an unfinished copy is served upon you (the SC) inadvertently.
New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday took back the affidavit it presented in the Supreme Court, which was finalised on September 11 by an official of the rank of deputy secretary in the ministry of home affairs (external affairs division) on the ground that it has not yet been finalised.
In the draft sworn affidavit, the Centre had asked the Supreme Court to refrain from interfering with the policy decision to deport Rohingya Muslims as the same had been taken on the basis of objective material before it.
As per the procedure, a copy of the affidavit was given to the counsel for the petitioners and the same is presented in the registry. However, later in the evening the Central government lawyer B.V. Balram Das informed the counsel the copy was served on him by mistake.
He said: “In fact the affidavit was/is in the process of being finalised. Before the affidavit is finalised, reflecting the stand of the Central government after consideration of all departments concerned, an unfinalised copy is served upon you inadvertently. The copy is also not filed in the registry of the Supreme Court. Kindly do not treat it as the affidavit of the Central government.” According to the draft affidavit, the decision to deport Rohingyas was being taken to thwart “designs of the ISIS and other extremists groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives, including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas of the country.”
It said: “A fragile north-eastern corridor will become destabilised in the case of stridency of Rohingya militancy, which the Central government has found to be growing if permitted to continue. There is also a serious possibility of the eruption of violence against the Myanmar government diplomatic missions and against Buddhists who are Indian citizens, who stay on India soil, by the radicalised Rohingyas. Rohingyas are a threat to national security. They have links with terror groups and are likely to be used by the Islamic State.”
The petitioners said they are registered and recognised by the UNHCR in India in 2016 and are granted refugee I-cards. Around 40,000 Rohingya are living in India.