A three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde and comprising of Justices LN Rao and MM Shantanagouder directed Indians stranded abroad to stay wherever they are.
The Bench was hearing two separate Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on the evacuation of students stuck in the United Kingdom because of the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Supreme Court on 13 April declined to pass any interim directions on petitions which urged it to ask the Centre to bring back Indians “stranded” abroad.
The petitioners refused to withdraw the PILs claiming that the government needs to put in place a mechanism to ensure the safety of stranded Indian students in the UK. The Apex Court, however, adjourned the hearing of both these PILs.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that evacuating Indians stranded abroad would not be possible at this hour of crisis and the Centre had said it on its affidavit. Across the world visa extensions were being granted during the pandemic.
The Supreme Court also adjourned a similar plea for the evacuation of stranded Indian workers from the Persian Gulf countries.