Dubai: The Indian Supreme Court on Monday said Indians stranded abroad cannot be flown back home during the current lockdown and flight suspension in India.
The apex court made this observation while hearing petitions seeking the evacuation of stranded Indians from Gulf countries and other places, Indian TV channels reported.
Repatriating the overseas Indians at this point of time would be a violation of the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by the central government, the court observed.
It urged Indians to stay put where they are and adjourned the hearing of all the petitions related to their evacuation for a month, the reports said.
Live Law reported that a bench led by the Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde heard a batch of petitions seeking evacuations of Indians stranded abroad due to COVID-19 lockdown.
The Supreme Court heard seven petitions on Monday seeking the common prayer of evacuation of Indian citizens stranded abroad, ranging from students, working professionals, unskilled workers and fishermen in the UK, USA, Iran and other Gulf countries, it said.
The bench refused to interfere in the restricts imposed by the central government on the embargo imposed on travel and appealed to the people to “stay where they are” and that it would not be possible to bring them back right now.
“People in other countries cannot be brought back right now,” the Chief Justice was quoted as saying.
The solicitor general Tushar Mehta, reportedly added that it was impossible to bring back people to India during this crisis and that he had reiterated this stand in the affidavit, already filed on behalf of the union government.
“All over the world, people are getting extensions. In my affidavit, I have clearly mentioned that right now it is not possible,” Mehta was quoted as saying.
All petitions before India's apex court which sought directions or orders to 'bring back Indians stranded in various countries abroad' have been deferred for four weeks, News Agency ANI said.