New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry on Monday submitted its affidavit in the Supreme Court on the deportation of Rohingya immigrants to Myanmar and has called them a “security threat to India”.
The government has also stated that as per law, it is completely “illegal” for Rohingya immigrants to stay in India and has submitted that their continuance in India would have serious national security ramifications and has “serious security threats”.
A confidential report, which the government has prepared, may be submitted to the apex court on October 3, if the court so desires. Sources have exclusively told News18.com that “the report will seek to establish the link between Rohingyas and terrorist organisations in Pakistan and others like the Islamic state (ISIS) and Lashkar–e–Taiba (LeT)”.
This petition filed by Rohingya refugees, is being argued by senior advocate Fali S Nariman and Kapil Sibal.
The government stated that subject matter of the petition to stop deportation of Rohingyas is not "justiciable", as the fundamental rights of Indian citizens would be adversely affected.
"There is serious national security threat/concern and when a just and fair procedure prescribed by law exist for deportation, this Hon'ble Court may decline its interference, leaving to the Central Government to exercise its essential executive function by way of a policy decision in larger interest of the country," maintained the affidavit.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has told the lawyers arguing for the petitioners that “the court will only go by law” and that the petitioners must now go through the affidavit filed by the government now.
The Centre has argued that there are credible intelligence inputs against the Rohingyas have terror links.
The Centre has said that it is not only an issue of national security but also of diplomacy and hence the Supreme Court must not intervene in the policy decision of deportation under Article 32 of the Constitution.
The case has its genesis in the petition filed by Colin Gonsalves on behalf of 6,000 Rohingyas in Jammu. The other petition has been filed by Prashant Bhushan and both the petition relies on humanitarian grounds to stop the deportation decision announced by Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs.
A draft affidavit that had leaked on Thursday had termed Rohingya Muslims a “serious threat to national security.” Just hours later, however, the government had said that it would prepare a fresh affidavit after “fine tuning some details.”
CNN-News18 was the first to access the affidavit signed on September 11 by Ravi Sunder, deputy secretary in the Foreigners' Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which was even served upon a lawyer of the petitioner and was ready to be filed in the court.
Soon after News18.com broke the story, the government decided to put the affidavit on hold on grounds of “correction”. The lawyer, who was sent a copy of the affidavit, was also informed that “the affidavit has been served (to him) by mistake”.
But sources have confirmed that the stand of the government regarding deportation of Rohingyas would remain unchanged.
“There is no rethink or review of the position by the government. They will have to be deported,” said a source.
He added that the fresh affidavit needs to "fine tune some details, add some more inputs apart from also suggesting some recourse for Rohingyas outside Indian territory”.