The Supreme Court via video call refuses to pass directions for evacuating vulnerable citizens from the USA saying that these are not matters that can be entertained at this time. The Court said that no matter how much we wish for bringing the Indian citizens back, it is not possible at the time. The Indian citizens are spread across the USA and it would be difficult to bring them all back amid prevalent conditions. The court clearly stated that it cannot give any directions to a foreign government. But the Indian government can, however, make a request to the government of the USA regarding the visa issues. The same has still not been guaranteed as the extension of visa will cost a high amount. The US government is doing as much as possible to help the Indian citizens there with the help of certain voluntary organizations. The Court, however, said that no orders to the effect of certain vulnerable citizens can be passed at this time as an assurance that all the countries are doing their best at this time.
To enable the government to identify the individuals who need help, the petitioners are to make a representation before the nodal officers in charge along with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) within two weeks. The petition had sought a direction to the Centre to operationalise special aeroplane carriers to repatriate distressed and vulnerable Indian citizens in the USA. India had imposed a blanket ban on all inbound commercial carriers, as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.
While considering the government’s actions taken to contain the spread of the contagion, the petition stated that a blanket ban on all inbound carriers has aggravated the distress of those Indian citizens stranded in the United States. The right to life stated in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution was challenged before the court in this very case.
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