The Supreme Court on Friday granted more time to all parties and posted the contentious matter of the government's decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar for further hearing on November 21, deciding to give a detailed and holistic hearing.
Until then, the apex court observed that no Rohingya refugee should be deported until the next date of hearing.
News agency ANI quoted the SC bench as saying that national importance cannot be secondary and at the same time, the human rights of the Rohingyas should be kept in mind.
The apex court also made it clear that in case any contingency arises in the intervening period, the petitioners have the liberty to approach it for redressal.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said the issue was of great magnitude and therefore, the state has a big role.
The top court made it clear that there was a need for holistic hearing and it is neither going to be swayed by the arguments of senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, who is representing the petitioners, nor by any other senior counsel and the submissions have to go by the letter of the law.
"We will not permit any emotional arguments," the bench observed.
During the brief hearing, the bench suggested to the Centre not to deport the Rohingya Muslim refugees, but Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta requested that it should not be written in the order as anything coming on record will have an international ramification.
"We know our responsibility," the ASG said.
The bench said the whole issue of Rohingya Muslims has to be looked at from various angles like national security, economic interest, labour interest and also the protection of children, women, sick and innocent persons.
The apex court stated, 'We have to strike a balance. It is not an ordinary case. The issue involves human rights of many."
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has asked both parties to compile all documents and international conventions for assisting the court.
The court had emphasized earlier that it will hear arguments from the Centre and the two Rohingya Muslim refugees petitioners based on law points only and not on any emotional aspects.
ASG Tushar Mehta, arguing for the Centre, told the three-judge bench of the SC that "this is an issue involving international ramifications". The Supreme Court said, " If you (Centre) take any kind of contingency plan, you need to inform this court."
On September 18, the Centre told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that they are barring the entry of illegal Rohingyas in the country as they pose a threat to the nation's security as they felt they would pose a threat to national security and integrity.
The Centre had also told the court that deporting Rohingya refugees would be an "executive policy decision" and the judiciary should desist from interfering in the matter.
There are about 11 lakh Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar but they suffer discrimination and are denied citizenship. Some 3,79,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar since violence against them in Rakhine state started on August 25, after Rohingya militants attacked police posts there.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)