Visit Rohingya camps, check amenities, SC tells Haryana SDM

Visit Rohingya camps, check amenities, SC tells Haryana SDM

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Mewat in Haryana to act as nodal officer and visit two camps of Rohingyas located in the area.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked the SDM to visit two camps after the counsel appearing for the group of petitioners disputed the Centre's report that Rohingya refugees were getting facilities at par with others living in the slums.

The report submitted by the Central team comprising officers from the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Home Ministry said that Rohingya refugees living in the camps located in the slums were getting all the facilities including that of primary health, education, sanitation, water and electricity at par with others living in those slums.

The team of officials had visited three camps -- one located in Delhi and two in Mewat area of Gurugram district of Haryana -- on the April 9 direction of the top court.

The top court had on April 9 directed the Central government to file a comprehensive report detailing the facilities being provided to Rohingya refugees staying at two camps in Haryana, saying "let us try to solve human problems first".

The court had said that the report should be based on data about basic facilities like water, hygiene, toilets and medical facilities being provided to the Rohingyas in Mewat and Faridabad camps.

As counsel Colin Gonsalves, Rajeev Dhavan, Ashwini Kumar and Prashant Bhushan contested the report of team officers that had visited the camps, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta wondered how a report based on personal visits by the officers could be doubted.

The counsel for the petitioners who are opposing the deportation of Rohingya refugees said that refugees were not getting facilities as they had no identity proof like Aadhaar.

Prashant Bhushan said that Rohingya refugees should be provided with some kind of proof to establish their identity, like a refugee card.

As the lawyers cited Article 21 arguing for providing facilities to Rohingya refugees, the court said that it could not direct that these facilities to slum dwellers. It cited the example of Mumbai where 50 per cent of Mumbai is living in slums.

The court directed for further hearing of the matter after vacation.

--IANS

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