The Delhi High Court today has asked the Centre to treat the plea seeking the evacuation of 200 Indian and Afghan nationals of Indian origin stranded in Afghanistan as a representation.
The Division Bench led by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was dealing with a petition filed by a former spokesperson and media adviser of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee seeking urgent relief relating to evacuation, issuance of e-visa and safe return of these people from Afghanistan to India.
Upon raising a query as to how the petitioner obtained information in respect of all the persons alleged to have been stranded in Afghanistan, the Bench was informed that the petitioner had a telephonic conversation with these persons.
Expressing “doubt” over the submission made by the counsel for the petitioner, the Bench asked the the Centre (Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs) to decide the representation made before the concerned authorities, in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies applicable to the facts of the case.
A PIL was filed by a social worker, author and lecturer Parminder Pal Singh through Law Offices of Gurinder Pal Singh, pointing out constant threats to life and property being faced at the hands of Taliban and ISIS by Indians and Afghans of Indian origin stranded in Afghanistan.
The plea states that a representation was made before the Centre on October 18, 2021, for issuance of e-visa and early evacuation of the stranded persons from Afghanistan. However, no action has been taken on the representation as yet.
In light of the above, the plea prays for issuance of e-visa to the stranded persons and for coordination with international agencies to facilitate safe return of these people from Afghanistan to India. In addition, the plea prays for evacuation of these persons from Afghanistan to India, as also for providing security to them till their evacuation.
“The stranded persons are constantly and almost daily facing threats to their lives and properties and are spending each minute in a state of extreme fear, tension and anxiety and yet, unfortunately till date, the Respondents have not taken any steps to provide assistance of any type whatsoever to them in the matter of their evacuation/repatriation from Afghanistan to India.”
“The long ordeal and waiting for grant of e-visa and lack of evacuation flights have a taken a toll on both mental and physical well-being of these stranded persons,” adds the plea.