Supreme Court defers plea for immediate repatriations of Indians from abroad

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Pravasi Bhandhu Welare Trust urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider repatriation of Indians who have lost jobs in GCC countries and sick people due to the pandemic on humanitarian grounds.

To the utter disappointment of the diaspora, the Supreme Court on Monday (April 13) adjourned for four weeks, petitions seeking repatriation of stranded Indians in various foreign countries saying that it was better for people to stay where they are amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hearing various petitions seeking evacuation of stranded Indians from foreign countries via video conferencing, a bench of chief justice SA Bobde, Justices L Nageswara Rao and Mohan M Shantanagoudar observed that it may not be possible for the government to bring back all Indians at the moment.

‘People should stay where they are’, a Bar and Bench reported the apex court as saying. The court also said that the affected persons may make a representation before the Centre and the government must take necessary action for the safety of Indians in foreign jurisdictions right now.

A separate petition for evacuation of vulnerable Indian citizens from the USA which has emerged as the new hotspot of the contagion was also heard by the Supreme Court which was filed by Senior Advocate Vibha Datta Makhija.

The Court has directed the Centre to file its response on this petition as well as the one concerning evacuation of stranded Indian fishermen in Iran.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court in the affidavit filed by the Centre that the world over visa extensions are being granted and bringing back Indians right now would not be possible.

All the other petitions including one filed by MP from Kozhikode MK Raghavan for evacuating stranded Indian citizens from GCC nations as well as a similar plea filed earlier for evacuation of Indian migrant workers in Gulf countries filed by a migrant welfare society, all stand adjourned for four weeks.

Meanwhile, Sharjah-based Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust submitted a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging for a humanitarian consideration of the issue of Indians in the GCC countries since a large number of them have lost job and, therefore, they want to go back to their native places.

“After COVID-19 pandemic, it will be very difficult to get new job, so they prefer to go to India at the earliest. Otherwise it will be difficult for them to live in their host countries without any income,” said Trust chairman K V Shamsudheen.

He said that the economic slump in many countries have also forced Indians living with their families to send their families back to India. “There are many sick people who want to go for treatment to India as they are in critical health condition,” the representation said.  

Many schools decided to continue online learning till coming summer vacation, so thousands of Indian drivers will be jobless for the time being, so they want to go to India. Many projects has been stopped as a result many blue workers will be jobless, it pointed out. 

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