Deportation of refugee according to procedure establish by law does not violate Article 21

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Mohammad Salimullah and Anr.V Union of India and Ors.

Interlocutory Application NO.38048 OF 2021

Writ Petition (Civil) No.793 OF 2017, Decided on April 08, 2021

BENCH-SA Bobde, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian, JJ.


The present writ is filed praying for the issue of an appropriate writ directing the respondents to provide basic human amenities to the member of the Rohingya Community, who have taken refuge in India. The petitioner claimed to have registered themselves as refuge with the United Nations High Commission for refugees. The present application aimed at seeking the release of the detained Rohingya refugees and direction to the Union of India not to deport the Rohingya refugees who have been as claimed by petitioner illegally detained in the sub-jail in Jammu. The detention is affected through an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs;sensitize all the law enforcement and intelligence agencies for taking prompt steps and initiating deportation processes. Further petitioner claimed that deportation of refugees violates the principle of non-refoulement is part of the right guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.


Whether the deportation of the Rohingya refugees amounts to the violation of Fundamental Rights enshrined under Article 14 and 21 of Constitution?


The court refused to order the release of Rohingya’s detained in the holding centres and allowed deportation to their parent country as per the procedure of law. On the issue of violation of Article 21, court was of the opinion that the deportation of refugees according to procedure establish by law does not violate Article 21. Further Hon’ble court held that though Article 14 and 21 are available to non-citizen but in present context, right of not to be deported, is ancillary to right to reside or settle in any part of the territory, which is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(e) of the constitution only available to citizens. Thereafter on issue on violation of the principle of non-refoulement, it was held that it won’t be applicable on the Indian Government as it has not signed the international treaties propounding the said principle. At last Supreme Court refused to make any comment on the internal matters of another country and left the matter of public policy at the prerogative of the state. On these abovementioned grounds court concluded that no interim relief regarding deportation will be provided, however they shall not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed.

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