'Right Not To Be Deported' Is Ancillary To A Fundamental Right Available Only To Indian Citizens : Supreme Court In Rohingyas Case
The Supreme Court, in rejecting a petition to halt the deportation of Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu, stated that the right not to be deported is an ancillary right to the fundamental right to live or settle in any part of India guaranteed by Article 19(1)(e) of the Constitution.
Only Indian people have access to the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(e). "It is also valid that all people, citizens or not, have access to the rights provided by Articles 14 and 21. The right not to be deported, on the other hand, is ancillary or concomitant to the right to live or settle in any part of India's territory guaranteed by Article 19(1)(e) "The bench remarked.
*HEARING BEFORE THE COURT*
During the hearing on March 23, the applicant's lawyer, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, referred to an order issued by the International Court of Justice last year, stating that Rohingyas were facing genocidal threats in Myanmar. He also stated that Myanmar is currently ruled by a military government that came to power recently. As a result, sending Rohingyas back to Myanmar while the country is ruled by a military junta would put them in danger, according to Bhushan. The Centre, on the other hand, stated that the International Court of Justice's decision has no bearing on the current application, and that the Union of India generally follows the procedure of notifying the government of the foreigner's country of origin and ordering their deportation only after the government of the foreigner's country of origin confirms that the persons concerned are citizens.
The bench, which included India's Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna, and V. Ramasubramanian, stated that the Rohingyas in Jammu will not be deported unless the process for deportation is followed. While rejecting an interlocutory application seeking I the release of detained Rohingya refugees and (ii) a directive to the Union of India not to deport Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu's subjail, the court made this observation. While the rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 may be available to non-citizens, the fundamental right to live and settle in this country guaranteed under Article 19(1)(e) is only available to citizens, the centre argued in opposition to the application. Due to the porous existence of the landed borders, the Centre claims that there is a danger to the country's internal security; and (ii) agents and touts are providing a safe passage into India for illegal immigrants. The fact that India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention is undeniable. As a result, serious doubts have been raised about whether Article 51(c) of the Constitution can be invoked unless India has signed or ratified a convention. "However, there is no question that National Courts will draw influence from International Conventions/Treaties as long as they do not clash with municipal law," the court said.