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    Delhi high court stays deportation of two Myanmar refugees

    (A Rohingya refugee camp in Delhi; image for representation)
    Date : 21/12/2015

    Dongh Lian Kham & Another Vs. Union of India & Another

    The High Court of Delhi, stayed the deportation of two refugees from Myanmar saying; “Thus, Respondent no. 2 (FRRO) is directed to hear the petitioners and explore a third country option for their deportation. The UNHCR is also expected to give its inputs to the FRRO for the needful. After a conscious decision is taken, the necessary concurrence/approval may be obtained from MHA (Foreigners Division). The aforesaid exercise be completed before 31st of March, 2016. The petitioners shall not be deported from India till then.”

    A petition was filed in the High Court of Delhi ‘Dongh Lian Kham & Another Vs. Union of India & Another [WP (CRL) 1884 of 2015, decided on 21.12.2015] with a prayer for direction to the Govt. Authorities not to deport the two people living as refugee in India to their country of origin i.e. Myanmar and to consider sympathetically the application of the Petitioner for Long Term VISA. They have legitimate reasons to be persecuted in their home country because of their hailing from ethnic and religious minority community. The Petitioners were Mandate refugees and staying in India under Long Term VISA since 2009 & 2011 respectively. They were convicted under Narcotics Act and their VISA hence couldn’t be renewed.

    The High Court held:

    “Since the petitioners apprehend danger to their lives on return to their country, which fact finds support from the mere grant of refugee status to the petitioners by the UNHCR, it would only be in keeping with the golden traditions of this country in respecting international comity and according good treatment to refugees that the respondent FRRO hears the petitioners and consults UNHCR regarding the option of deportation to a third country, and then decide regarding the deportation of the petitioners and seek approval thereafter, of the MHA (Foreigners Division).”

    The Court also considered Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, EU Resolution on Minimum Guarantees for Asylum Procedures, 1955, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 and the UN Declaration on Territorial Asylum and principle of “non-refoulement”.

    Please find the full order attached

    Contact Fazal Abdali; fazal@hrln.org

    Read the order here.
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