The Delhi High Court on Monday has directed the Centre to file its reply on a plea filed by a woman seeking directions to know the whereabouts of her husband who went to Saudi Arabia as a labourer and has been missing since 2020. She alleged that the colleagues of her husband informed her that he had died and his body was buried but when she sought information from the authorities, she was informed that her husband has gone missing in Saudi Arabia.
The court also issued notice to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia/Respondent No 2, directing them to furnish the whereabouts of the petitioner’s husband, if it is available with them. A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli was hearing a plea to direct the Central Government to disclose the actual information and status of the petitioner’s husband.
The plea stated that the petitioner is a woman, having a dependent mother-in-law and two children, who lives in a remote village 200 km away from Kolkata. The husband of the petitioner went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on a labour visa and went missing in April 2020. The petitioner was informed by her husband’s colleagues that her husband had passed away and his body had been preserved for burial.
According to the petition, the petitioner is unable to obtain her husband’s death certificate. In the absence of a death certificate, she is unable to obtain a legal heir certificate or complete the necessary formalities to access the bank account or the assets of her husband, in order to sustain her livelihood, along with her dependents.
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The petition avers that on July 20, 2020, the petitioner through her Advocate sent an e-mail to Consulate General of India, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia apprising him of her predicament and requesting him to inform the petitioner about the status of her husband and to get him back, dead or alive.
She received a reply from the office of Consulate General of India, Jeddah on August 2, 2021 stating that her husband has gone missing and they are looking into the matter with Saudi Arabian Authorities.
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The petitioner till date has not received her husband’s death certificate or any other information from the Consulate General of India, Jeddah.
The writ petition has been filed through, Advocate Shubhayu Roy, who is representing the petitioner on pro bono basis.
The next date of hearing is September 27.