The Supreme Court said the Rohingya Muslims' possible eviction was a very important matter involving issues of national security as well as the human rights of the people, many of whom are women, children and old people.
The Supreme Court said today the Indian government must balance national security with humanity and directed the Centre not to deport Rohingyas till the case is heard.
As before the top court announced that it will hear arguments only on the points of law, as the matter is considered humanitarian and it is required to be heard with mutual respect.
On August 9, the government told Parliament that more than 14,000 Rohingyas registered with UNHCR are in India, as per available data.
Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the petitioner Rohingya refugees, opposed the government stand and said the petition under Article 32 was maintainable as the Constitution guaranteed individual rights.
The court said the government should not deport the refugees, but did not pass a formal order putting any restrictions.
In their petition, the two Rohingya immigrants, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, argued that they had taken refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.
The issue came to the fore after the home ministry in July stated that illegal immigrants such as the Rohingya posed grave security challenges as they might be recruited by terror groups, and asked the state governments to identify and deport them.
Since Aug. 25, some 536,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
"It would be against India's own humanitarian principles and traditions, its obligations under global law, as well as its own constitutional provisions to deport the 40,000 Rohingya refugees" now in the country, the letter says. In an open letter, 51 prominent names including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, former home minister P Chidambaram, former Union home secretary G K Pillai among others, observed that as an aspiring global leader, India can not afford to adopt a "shortsighted approach". "This is simply not the case, and the evidence to support these assertions have not held up".