Senior Supreme Court lawyer Colin Gonsalves has filed a plea against Indian government decision of deportation of Rohingya Muslim refugees. In an interview with National Herald, Gonsalves stated that the current Indian refugee policy is against International law.
Rohingya Muslims Are Not Illegal Migrants
Two types of refugees are categorised as illegal migrants. The first one is the Economic refugees that are afforded no protection. Another one is those who flee persecution. They are also called as genuine refugees.
Under Article 21, the Indian Constitution guarantees protection to genuine refugees. Moreover, the state is duty-bound to protect the life of these refugees.
Right To Life Of Non-Citizens Under Article 21
Indian law has accepted the right to life of noncitizens under Article 21 (example, Chakma Case between the state of Arunachal Pradesh and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The Guwahati High Court, the Delhi High Court, Gujarat High Court and Kerala High Court have all recognized the right.
Therefore when we see the government’s clarification that Rohingya Muslims are illegal migrants, it is not entirely legal in the face of Article 21.
Yes, India hasn’t been a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and the additional protocol of 1967 but it doesn’t matter if the Indian government is a signatory to the Refugee Convention.
Is Government Targeting Muslims Refugees?
We are definitely headed in that direction.
If not now, Muslim refugees from other countries, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Somalia, will soon start to find themselves at the receiving end of the government’s refugee policy due to their religion.
Disclaimer: The article is completely based on Colin Gonsalves interview with National Herald. It does not reflect the views of Pagal Parrot and also Pagal Parrot does not assume any responsibility or liability.