SC Notice to Centre on Plea for Evacuation of 850 Indian Pilgrims Stranded in Iran
NEW DELHI, MARCH 27— The Supreme Court of India on Friday issued notice to the central government on a plea seeking urgent evacuation of 850 Indian pilgrims stranded in the Iranian city of Qom due to the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent ban on international flights. The top court has sought reply on Monday (March 30). The hearing took place through video conferencing.
“The contents of the petition under Article 32 do indicate that there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance to be provided to the pilgrims who are stranded in Qom. In order to facilitate their welfare, we are of the view that notice is required to be issued to the Union of India. We make the notice returnable on Monday", said the SC bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioners, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde averred that most of the pilgrims from a poor financial background and were required to return home in the beginning of this month. However, the pandemic completely changed the course of their journey, reports LiveLaw.in.
“The said persons started their journey on different dates starting from December 2019. The trip was scheduled to be for a period of three months and the pilgrims were scheduled to return on several dates starting from 26th of February. The petitioner's relatives were scheduled to return on the 6th of March. However, during the interregnum there was an outbreak of the Corona Virus,” reads the petition.
Iran has recorded around 30,000 Coronavirus cases of which around 2,200 have died.
India has so far reported 724 cases – 66 of them have been cured and discharged while 17 have died.
Worldwide, over 5.3 lakh people have got infected with the disease of which around 24,000 have died.