A Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh of the Delhi High Court issued a notice in a petition seeking the evacuation of Indian citizens, particularly students, from Bangladesh in the wake of the global novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, out-break.
Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal had moved the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Petition before the High Court after he received a WhatsApp message from an Indian student in Bangladesh on the night of March 25, seeking his help for evacuation. The Message from the Bangladesh stated that students were stuck in a university campus, without masks and sanitizers and nowhere to go due to the lockdown. The message stated that students were stuck in a university campus, without masks and sanitizers and nowhere to go due to the lockdown. The next morning, he also received an email stating the same.
- The proceedings were conducted through video-conferencing.
- The Petition states that there are around 581 Indian students in Bangladesh whose welfare and well-being was at stake.
- In total 580 Indian medical students stranded in Bangladesh.
- Bansal seeks a direction to the Central Government to forthwith initiate steps for the safe and secure return of Indian students who are feeling unsafe in this difficult time in Bangladesh.
- The plea sought a direction to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to forthwith take steps for a safe and secure return on Indian citizens who are stuck in Bangladesh.
- It said that Most of the students are residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
- A student wrote in an e-mail sent to Bansal that, “As there is complete lockdown now so we would not even get any supplies. You have also closed doors for us. Please help us reach back home. Even if we die, we would like to die in front of our parents”.
- It said that The MEA be directed to formulate guidelines for time-bound action by the nodal officers so that Indians feel safe during this time
- The students told the lawyers that their mess is closed and they are left with a few snacks which may last only for a week and there are no facilities by which they can prevent them from getting infected.
- The ministries were represented through the central government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh.
The Delhi High issued notice to the Central Government and sought an affidavit stating the steps taken by it for the well-being of the Indian students stuck in Bangladesh.
The matter would be heard next on March 30.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje