New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, who took charge as top judge on Wednesday, was hearing a plea by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan against the deportation of seven Rohingya Muslims to their country of origin, Myanmar. The CJI asked Bhushan in the course of the hearing, "First of all, they have been recognised as Myanmar citizens. What do you have to say?"

It is wrong, they haven't been recognised, Prashant Bhushan replied, saying it was the responsibility of the court.

"You need not remind us what's our responsibility," the Chief Justice shot back at Bhushan, dismissing the petition.

The CJI said the seven Rohingyas that the government sought to deport were undoubtedly illegal immigrants as per the conclusion of a competent court.

Earlier, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta had disagreed with Bhushan vehemently. "Myanmar has accepted the Rohingyas as their citizens and agreed to take them back," he said, adding, "That is the reason we are facilitating their return to their own country."

But even the snub by the CJI did not make Bhushan correct his course. The lawyer said that the court must realise its responsibility to protect the Rohingyas' "right to life".

The CJI shot back: "We are fully aware of our responsibility towards the right to life and no one needs to remind us about our responsibilities."

The bench that sanctioned the deportation of Rohingyas comprised Justice SK Kaul other than the CJI.