NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that may 7 onwards it'll begin bringing back Indian citizens stranded because of the nationwide lockdown and travel restrictions in place in various countries.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and B.R. Gavai that only May 7 onwards Indian citizens can be brought back in special flights, including those Indians stuck in Nepal.
The bench was hearing a plea, through video-conferencing, seeking direction to the Centre to make sure safe movement for migrant workers, hailing from Nepal and stranded in Uttarakhand. On April 30, the petitioner had informed the apex court that around 1,700 migrant workers from Nepal were stranded at the India-Nepal border in Uttarakhand because of the nationwide lockdown. The petitioner urged the Centre to permit them to return to their country.
The apex court noted that the govt. must know that workers are still stranded at few places, and therefore the government must inspect it. The petitioners said 1,000 Nepali workers had to travel back. "A large number got sent back... the remaining 214 haven't been sent back", the petitioner's counsel submitted in the court.
Mehta told the bench he possesses instructions from the Ministry of External Affairs that every Indian citizen stranded abroad, including Nepal, would be brought back from May 7 onwards.
The counsel, appearing for petitioner Ganga Giri Goswami, contended before the bench that around 1,000 Indian citizens also are stranded in Nepal in this precarious situation. The council insisted that the govt. has issued a notification on Monday that they're going to bring back Indians stranded abroad.
Mehra mentioned that the Indians who are stuck in Nepal are being provided with essentials and therefore the authorities concerned also are up-to-date with the consulate in Nepal.