In a significant development, the Supreme Court today issued notice to the Central government on a plea filed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur seeking to intervene in the hearing going on before the top court on the issue of deportation of Rohingya refugees.
In an intervention application filed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur, it is stated that deportation of Rohingya Muslims and other illegal immigrants from India is “impermissible under the International Human Rights law”. The Rapporteur has also urged India to uphold its obligations under international law by ensuring equal treatment for the Rohingya Muslims in the country.
The application filed by E. Tendayi Achiume, the 5th Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, challenges the government’s decision of mass deportation of the Rohingya Muslims from India. The plea seeks to assist the Supreme Court by offering expertise on State parties’ obligations under international law with regard to the prevention of racial discrimination against migrants and religious minorities.
The plea in detail delves into the situation in Myanmar and Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingyas. UN claims it has extensive evidence of crimes against humanity in Myanmar which has led to creation of more than a million refugees who are fleeing the country due to certainty of death, rape, torture, cruel and inhuman treatment and other forms of violence.
The plea also states that India is bound by its obligations under Article 1(1) if the ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination), Article 2(1) of the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), Article 2(2) & 3 of ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), Article 2 of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) and Article 2(1) of CRC (Convention on Rights of Child).
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to the UN’s plea seeking intervention into the matter. If allowed to intervene, the submissions made on behalf of Achiume likely have a significant impact, not only on the issue of the deportation of Rohingya refugees but also on crucial aspects of NRC and CAA as well.