Supreme Court today directed Centre to file its response on a plea seeking evacuation of around 860 Indian fishermen stranded in boats near the Iranian shore due to outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.
A bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice M Shantanagoudar sought Central Government response while hearing a PIL filed by Santha Muthulingam, the wife of a Fisherman stranded in Iran seeking directions to evacuate her husband along with 860 other Fishermen belonging to different Indian states in order to prevent them from dying due to COVID-19, hunger and dehydration.
“The 860 Indian Fishermen have been stranded in temporary sheds and anchored boats in the coast of Bandar-2-Moqam, a coastal village and Lavan Island both in the Hormozgan Province of Iran” said the petition.
The petitioner has further prayed that the fishermen be provided with adequate food, water and appropriate health facilities until the authorities in India are in a position to evacuate them safely to India.
The petitioner has appreciated the efforts of the Indian Government in evacuating Indian Pilgrims from Iran, China and Italy. It has however been pointed out that the fishermen are badly placed in terms of stay, availability and accessibility of amenities than the pilgrims.
The petitioner has prayed that a team of at least 25 doctors be sent to immediately test and treat the 860 stranded fishermen and also to immediately send a flight to Lavian aiport to bring ack the fishermen to India.
Centre to file its reply by April 20.
-India Legal Bureau