The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to file a detailed report on the level of preparedness to deal with the return of NRI’s from foreign countries.
A Division bench comprising of Justices Devan Ramachandran and TR Ravi while hearing a petition on repatriation of Indians from Gulf Countries said that it may not be possible to issue directions to the Union Government to repatriate citizens since the Supreme Court has already taken a stand against it.
About two lakh keralites are waiting to come back from the gulf countries in view of the grim situation there and the state will have a challenge on its hands as a majority of the total COVID-19 cases in Kerala have been traced to those who had returned from the region.
The bench directed the state government to file a detailed report on the level of preparedness to deal with the return of NRI’s from foreign countries.
The Counsel for the petitioner, Tulsi K Raj submitted that steps were being taken by other countries to repatriate their citizens stranded in other countries.
The bench replied that the policies of other countries are different from that of India and moreover the bench would not direct the Union Government to violate the lockdown and repatriate the Indians from Gulf countries until the Court was sure about Kerala’s preparedness to deal with the return of citizens.
The Counsel for the petitioner thereafter clarified that they were not questioning the lockdown but it was affecting a section of the society.
The bench said that the Court understands the issue but there are other people who are stranded in India as well.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Kerala Muslim Cultural Center seeking repatriation of keralites from Gulf countries and posted the matter for May 2.
-India Legal Bureau