New Delhi:
 Rohingya refugees walk on the muddy path after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf. Reuters photo
The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response to a PIL seeking to restrain the Union government from taking steps to identify and deport nearly 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, who have fled Myanmar to escape state-sponsored persecution.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also sought responses from the National Human Rights Commission and the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees in India. However, it refused to take up another similar petition, representing nearly 6,000 Rohingyas living in Jammu and Kashmir.

Quoting an international news agency report, the petitioners -Delhi-based Rohingya Muslims Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir -through advocate Prashant Bhushan claimed that MoS, home, Kiren Rijiju had told Parliament in August that the Centre had directed state authorities to identify and de port the estimated 40,000 Rohingyas living in India, despite the threat they face in their home country and the fact that around 16,500 Rohingyas had registered with UNHCR in India.

Shaqir crossed into India in 2011and Salimullah a year later, both entering West Bengal. Forcible returning the Rohingyas to Myanmar would also be in contravention of the principle of `Non Refoulement’, prohibits deportation of refugees to a country where they face threat to their lives. They claimed India was a signatory to various international conventions which recognised the principle of `Non Refoulement’.