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The Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta told the apex court on Tuesday that the Centre is considering whether the Rohingyas should be granted refugee status or not.

Mehta said: “Can illegal immigrants claim refugee status is the question which the Court ought to decide.”

To which the bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta, Aniruddha Bose asked counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioners: “Under municipal law what is the principle of granting refugee status to a migrant?”

Gonsalves replied: “In India, the authorities along with UNHCR investigate the background of the migrants and then if they are satisfied then a refugee card is given.”

The bench said: “Pleadings are complete. The matter to be listed for hearing on a date which will be intimated to the counsels concerned. Meanwhile, the counsels to prepare the literature concerning the main prayer.”

The apex court was hearing a plea raising concern on the pitiable condition of Rohingya refugees in India.

—India Legal Bureau

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