The Manipur High Court has directed the state government to make arrangements for transport and safe passage of seven Myanmar nationals, who are taking shelter in Moreh, to Imphal.
A division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kumar and Lunasungkum Jamir while hearing a petition filed by human rights lawyer Nandita Haksar issued the order on Tuesday (April 20).
The high court further directed that ‘no coercive steps or adverse action’ shall be taken against the seven Myanmar nationals, be it by the state or the central government authorities.
“The principle against refoulement, i.e., the forcible return of refugees to a country where they are liable to be subjected to persecution, can prima facie be read into Article 21 of the Indian Constitution,” the HC bench observed.
Haskar in her plea sought direction from the high court to the Manipur government to provide safe passage to seven Myanmar nationals to New Delhi so as to enable them to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Myanmar nationals, including four adults and three children, are taking refuge at the Moreh town, in Tengnoupal district of Manipur, said petitioner Haksar.
The High Court accepting the petition impleaded the Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence and External Affairs as respondents.
The court also directed the government to take the Myanmarese to a senior immigration officer at Moreh for the purpose of noting their details and also obtaining their biometric particulars and to provide adequate security before the next hearing on April 26.
“Before they are brought to Imphal, the District authorities at Moreh are permitted to take these 7(seven) individuals to the Senior Immigration Officer at Moreh for the purpose of noting their details and also obtaining their biographic and biometric particulars.
“Thereafter, they shall be brought safely under escort to Imphal and stationed at the residence of the petitioner/party-in-person under adequate security and guard till the next date of hearing,” the order said.