The Supreme Court today refuses to pass any directions on a plea seeking to evacuate Indian Citizens Stranded in USA after the outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic.
“They cannot be brought back, no matter how much we want. Assistance is being given to them. They are spread across US. The Government over there is extending Visas,” said Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul
Senior Advocate Vibha appearing in person said, “The Indian government has done a lot of work. We appreciate it”. She also added that there is no guarantee that visa will be extended and the application for extension of visa will cost around $ 200 US Dollars/ application.
Whereas, the court stated that they cannot control the decision of the foreign government, however, Indian government can request U.S. government not to create problems in the extension of visa.
Vibha submitted before the court that, they have a list of 110 people in dire need of help. There needs to fairness as the evacuation has also been performed earlier and now government has said that they will consider evacuation request on case to case basis. There is type 4 cancer patient stranded alone in a hospital due to lockdown, without any emotional support. She also pressed that medical aid is not available to the people stranded there.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that, it has been stopped intentionally.
The bench observed that the court will not order government anything on policy side or to do anything in particular manner. Each country is doing their best to get their citizens back to their own country.
However, individual applications may be made to the Ministry of External Affairs, for which contact details of the Nodal Officers will be provided.
-India Legal Bureau