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'Doubt How Petitioner Collated Information Of Those Stranded': Delhi High Court Disposes Plea For Evacuation Of Indians From Afghanistan

Akshita Saxena
27 Oct 2021 6:22 AM GMT
Doubt How Petitioner Collated Information Of Those Stranded: Delhi High Court Disposes Plea For Evacuation Of Indians From Afghanistan
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The Delhi High Court today disposed of a PIL seeking evacuation of Indians or Afghan Nationals of Hindu and Sikh origin, stranded in Afghanistan amid Taliban rule. The Petitioner had sought directions on the Centre to issue E-Visas to such stranded persons. The Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Centre to consider the representation made to it by...

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The Delhi High Court today disposed of a PIL seeking evacuation of Indians or Afghan Nationals of Hindu and Sikh origin, stranded in Afghanistan amid Taliban rule.

The Petitioner had sought directions on the Centre to issue E-Visas to such stranded persons.

The Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Centre to consider the representation made to it by the Petitioner in this regard.

It, however, also expressed doubt over the manner in which the Petitioner claimed to have collated information of those, who are stranded.

The Petitioner had annexed a list of persons, allegedly stranded in the politically unstable region. The list included names of 64 Indian nationals.

"What is authenticity of these annexures?" the Bench asked the Petitioner at the outset.

Though the Petitioner claimed to have had telephonic talks with all these persons, the Bench remarked,

"We have a doubt about this fact!"

The Court also raised suspicion on the Petitioner's claim that it had collected the information based on visa applications filed by the stranded persons before the Ministry of External Affairs.

"How you got copies of private visa applications? It's not an easy task to obtain all this. We're not convinced by your oral submissions," said the Bench.

Finally, the matter was disposed of in view of the representation made by the Petitioner to the govt authorities on 18th October, 2021.

The Court ordered,

"We therefore direct the concerned Respondent authority to decide the representation of the Petitioner in accordance with law, rules, regulations, and govt policies applicable to the facts of the case."

At this juncture, govt counsel Amit Mahajan informed the Bench that a lot of efforts have already been made by the Government of India to evacuate the stranded persons.

To this, the Bench clarified that the government also has the option to reject the representation, giving proper reasons.

"We know the operation of airlines is also in difficulty. You mention that and reject if you want," the Chief Justice said orally.

Stating that while the Government facilitated departure of 106 stranded Afghan Nationals in India back to Kabul, the plea stated that no steps were taken to airlift the stranded Indian and Afghan Nationals of Indian origin from Afghanistan to India.

It sought to facilitate the evacuation of all the 227 persons said to be stranded in Afghanistan, by way of chartered / special flight(s) currently operating out of Kabul, Afghanistan and/or through any other mode as deemed fit and proper.

The petition was filed by Parminder Pal Singh, former spokesperson and media advisor for Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee through Advocate Sidharth Borah.

Case Title: Parminder Pal Singh v. MHA & Anr.

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