In a heartbreaking development for the leftist-liberal cabal, the Supreme Court has rejected Advocate Prashant Bhushan’s plea against deportation of seven illegal Rohingya immigrants. The illegal immigrants who have been deported by India to Myanmar after the apex court refused to interfere with their deportation are Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Md Yonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam. All of them are in the age group of 26-32 years. The Myanmar government had admitted that the concerned immigrants are citizens of Myanmar and also accepted to take them back. Therefore, the centre decided to deport them to Myanmar. They had been caught in 2012 for illegally entering India and had been lodged in Assam’s jail since 2012.
In an ideal world, once the Myanmar government had accepted to take back their citizens that should have been it. But Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan had other plans. He made a last minute plea before the SC disputing the Centre’s decision to deport the seven illegal immigrants. Once, it had been decided that the concerned Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and Myanmar nationals, their deportation was inevitable. However, Bhushan made a desperate plea against their deportation for reasons best known to him. He mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before a bench of Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. A batch of petitions had been filed against the centre’s decision to deport over 40,000 Rohingyas who had illegally crossed over into India. Prashant Bhushan has been appearing in the pending cases against deportation of refugees. Now, even as the centre was about to deport seven Rohingya immigrants, he made this last minute plea, “pass an order restraining the Union of India from taking any step towards the deportations of Rohingya refugees lodged in jails or detention centers in any part of the country in contravention of non-derogable principles of customary international laws and during the pendency of the case before this court.”
It was also argued before the apex court bench that if these refugees are deported they will face the risk of persecution and even death. Bhushan further argued that it was the duty of the court to protect the Rohingyas. He said, “They are not illegal migrants, but refugees. The court should direct sending UN High Commissioner or his representative to talk to the seven Rohingyas so that they are not deported under any kind of duress.” The crux of the plea was that the Rohingyas must not be sent back because they face risk of persecution in Myanmar and that they enjoy the status of refugees and therefore are entitled to protection under the international humanitarian law.
However, the plea was totally rejected by the top court and it was observed by the three judge bench that since the seven Rohingyas in question were recognised as illegal immigrants by the court earlier and that Myanmar is also ready to accept them as its citizens, “We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken.” Therefore, it is now clear that those deported were not refugees but illegal immigrants. Coming to the argument that it was the duty of the court to protect the seven Rohingyas to be deported, the Court made it clear to the petitioner, “You don’t need to remind us of our responsibilities. We very well understand our responsibilities”. Thus, the apex court found no merit in the last minute plea made by Prashant Bhushan.
However, this last minute plea by Bhushan challenging the centre’s decision does not come as a surprise. He has been witnessed making such a desperate plea in the past as well. At that time, he had moved a last minute plea for staying the execution of death sentence to 1993 blasts convict Yakub Memon. Even at that time, it was beyond comprehension why such a plea was made at midnight in a desperate attempt to save the life of a convicted terrorist. In fact, Prashant Bhushan is known for taking positions that are detrimental to India’s interests. His adverse remarks about India’s status, vis-a-vis Kashmir and his demand for referendum in Naxal-hit areas had also led to severe criticism. His last minute pleas have set a dangerous precedent. Even in the best case scenario it seems that Bhushan leads the powerful and vocal India bashing cabal in the Courts and in the worst case, being as influential as he is, the former AAP member resorts to such dilly-dallying tactics in order to hamper national interests.