New Delhi, Oct 13 (PTI) The deportation of illegal immigrants including Rohingyas has to be dealt with only by the Centre as it is essentially an executive function, a home ministry spokesperson said today.

The assertion comes hours after the Supreme Court decided to give a detailed and “holistic hearing” from November 21 on the government’s decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar.

The ministry spokesperson said that questions regarding illegal immigrants need to be examined keeping in mind diplomatic consideration, internal security situation, demographic changes in the country and duties of the central government towards its own citizens.

“It was, therefore, desirable that these issues ought to be handled by policy-making function of the executive,” he said.

The apex court also observed that a balance has to be struck between national interest and human rights as the issue involved national security, economic interests and humanity.

The ministry spokesperson said, “The central government is of the opinion that deportation of illegal immigrants have to be dealt with only by the central government because it is essentially an executive function of the government.” The apex court has not stayed deportation of Rohingyas, he said.

“No interim order has been granted. The Supreme Court has merely recorded the statement of the learned counsel for the petitioner to the effect that in case of any contingency he can move the court for appropriate interim order,” the spokesperson said.

A senior home ministry official said the central government is duty-bound to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens first.

“There was no decision by the Supreme Court for or against the government. Today’s development is a vindication of the home ministry’s (government) stand,” he said.

In August, the home ministry had sent a communication to all states saying illegal immigrants like the Rohingyas pose grave security challenges as they may be recruited by terror groups, and asked to identify and deport them.

“The MHA circular to the states on deportation of Rohingyas stands,” the official added.

The communication had also said that these “illegal immigrants not only infringe on the rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges.” Infiltration of (the Rohingyas) from Rakhine state of Myanmar into Indian territory, especially in recent years, besides being burden on the limited resources of the country also aggravates security challenges posed to India, the home ministry had said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.