COVID-19: ‘Stay where you are,’ Supreme Court to Indians Abroad


The Supreme Court on Tuesday told Indians abroad to stay put where they are.

The apex court observed that the central government won’t be able to bring them back amid lockdown. Lifting the travel ban and bringing Indians stuck abroad including gulf countries will weaken the coronavirus prevention activities and this risk can’t be taken now, said the bench led by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde.

Congress lawmaker M. K. Raghavan and an association called Pravasi Legal Cell had moved SC seeking the evacuation of all Indians stranded in gulf countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SC instructed Raghavan to hand over the suggestions he had put forward in the petition to the central government. Centre should inform the court on the measures taken on these instructions within four weeks.

UAE has asked all countries to evacuate their citizens who are willing to return to their native countries. They had warned of strict actions and re-evaluation of job contracts if countries do not respond positively to this order.

Meanwhile Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed SC that more than 50,000 students are waiting in the UK to return rto India. Centre told SC it is not practical to bring them back now. Following this, the court said that the students are safe in the UK and should continue where they are.

SC also asked the Centre to file their response on the petition demanding to bring back Indian fishermen stranded in Iran. The Centre told SC that around 6,000 fishermen are stuck in Iran. The petition will be taken up in the court on next Monday.