NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday said it will hear on March 18 a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's decision to deport illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants to Myanmar.
The top court is also seized of petitions which support the government's stand to deport over 40,000 Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar and are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notices on some intervention applications.
One of the intervention application is filed by the United Nations special rapporteur saying that the Centre's decision for mass deportation of the Rohingya as being "impermissible under international human rights law", and India should ensure that the Rohingyas enjoy "equality before the law and equal access to judicial remedies and individualised forms of due process".
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for two Rohingya refugees, argued that much of the controversy surrounding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is linked to the issue.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, vehemently opposed the submission and said there is no link between Rohingyas and the CAA.
During the brief hearing, advocate Virag Gupta, a lawyer appearing for Govindacharya, told the bench that Myanmar has offered to take back its refugees and there was no ground to give them shelter.
Initially, two Rohingya immigrants -- Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, who are registered refugees under the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), had moved the apex court in 2017 challenging the move to deport to Rohingyas on various grounds including that it violated international human right conventions.
Another petition was filed by one Jaffar Ullah alleging unhygienic situation at refugee camps in Haryana, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre had questioned the bona fides and motives of the NGOs and individuals seeking facilities for the Rohingya refugees and stated that there is no discrimination between Indians and outsiders in providing health and education facilities.
BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhaya, one of the petitioners, has filed the plea supporting the government's stand and said,"few NGOs are posing more threat to the unity of the country than an enemy country like Pakistan".