The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court not to interfere in the Rohingya issue as it was a policy decision to deport them and that some of them were linked to Pakistani terrorist groups.
As the apex court heard a petition challenging their deportation to Myanmar, the central government told the judges that this was an “essential executive” decision taken in the larger national interest.
The Centre also said that the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar started in 2012.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the next hearing on October 3.
Adjourning the hearing, the court asked the petitioner and others to file their rejoinder to the Centre’s stand before the next date of hearing.
“The continued stay of Rohingyas in India apart from being absolutely illegal is found to be having national security ramification and has serious security threats,” the Centre said in its affidavit.
Telling the court that the presence of Rohingyas in India would be a drain on the resources of the country and would affect the rights of the people, the Centre on Monday pointed out that some of the Rohingyas had contacts with Pakistan-based terror outfits.
It also contended that since they were refugees from another country, they had no rights under the Indian constitution.
It said that due to the large influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, the demographic profile of the some of the bordering states had undergone a serious change.
Thousands of Rohingyas have poured into Bangladesh — and some into India — after fleeing a military offensive in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that a final decision on the fate of Rohingya refugees in India would be taken by the Supreme Court.
He said the matter was being heard by the apex court and “whatever decision will be taken, it will be taken by the Supreme Court”.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the government’s decision to deport Rohingya refugees was in the nation’s interest.
“It is a sensitive matter. Whatever the government will do will be in nation’s interest,” Rijiju told reporters ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.