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Priority Being Accorded To Stranded Pregnant Women For Repatriation: Centre To SC

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The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Supreme Court on Friday that the exercise of repatriation of Indian Nationals is currently under way & Government is giving priority to pregnant women in response to a petition to evacuate pregnant doctors and nurses from Saudi Arabia.

In the last three days almost a dozens of fights have already arrived at various entry points in India from places as far away as Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Singapore. More flights are expected in the coming days. 

The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice BR Gavai was hearing a petition filed by Sanisha Thomas seeking directions to the Centre to make arrangements to bring back 18 medical professionals, who are pregnant and stranded in Saudi Arabia in vulnerable conditions, amid COVID-19 Pandemic.

The plea, moved through advocate Jose Abraham sought a direction to the Embassy of India, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to take appropriate measure to ensure that the Petitioners have access to proper medical facilities till they are repatriated to India.  

The bench observed that the Government of India has already taken a decision on May 5, to bring back Indians stranded abroad.

SG Mehta assured the bench that appropriate steps shall be taken by the government with regard to the petitioners as per the SOP.

The Counsel appearing for the petitioners however submitted that their pregnancy is at an advanced stage and they need a further priority in the priority given to the pregnant women.

The bench disposing of the petition directed the Government to explore the question of further priority as per the specific cases of the petitioners and take appropriate steps accordingly.

-India Legal Bureau

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