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Kerala HC Seeks Reply From Centre and State On Steps Taken On Repatriation Of Stranded Non-Keralites To State

Radhika Roy
14 May 2020 5:53 AM GMT
Kerala HC Seeks Reply From Centre and State On Steps Taken On Repatriation Of Stranded Non-Keralites To State
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The Kerala High Court has sought for instructions from both the Central and State Governments over the steps taken to bring back Keralites who have been stranded in Delhi and other North-Indian states.

A Bench of the Kerala High Court comprising of Justices Anu Sivaraman and MR Anita heard the matter and expressed concern for the stranded persons. On that note, the Central and the State Governments have been directed to take instructions over the steps taken to bring back the stranded Keralites from other States.

"The learned Central Government Counsel as well as the learned Government Pleader to get instructions as to the steps which can be taken to repatriate the stranded non-stranded Keralites to the State". 

The petition, filed by Advocates Haris Beeran and Nuriya O.A. on behalf of Delhi KMCC, students and others who are stranded in Delhi, prays for directions to airlift under Vande Bharat Mission, the stranded Keralites categorized on priority basis: 1. Pregnant women, 2. Senior citizens, 3. People with infants, 4. Small children, 5. People who require emergency medical care, and 6. Students from the Union Territory of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and other North Indian states, through special domestic flights operated by Air India.

The petition also seeks for a direction to the Respondents to grant permission to operate Special train Services for the stranded Keralites in the above-stated regions.

It has been submitted that, pursuant to the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, an order was passed by the Ministry of Railways allowing Shramik special train services for interstate movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places.

The plea further contends that, as per newspaper reports, the Chief Minister of Kerala has requested the Centre to allow special trains to bring back returnees to Kerala from other States, but the State Government has not taken any decisive action for the hundreds of Keralites who have been stranded in the North Indian states.

"As many as 1177 students from Kerala are stranded in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and in North Indian states. Many students are facing threat of evacuation as hostels are now earmarked for quarantine facilities. There are reports that Kerala Government has not requested Central Railway to run special trains to ferry back home Keralites stranded in Mumbai".

It has also been averred that the usage of flights is requested as the time required to travel in flights is approximately 3-4 hours, and travelling in train will cause extreme hardships to the distressed categories of persons.

"The feasible way to bring back these stranded compelling category of persons, especially the pregnant women, those who need emergent medical care, elderly and the children separated from parents and students facing evacuation from hostels will be airlifting them on an immediate basis. Under the Vande Bharat Mission started by the Central Government chalking out the mega repatriation of Indians stranded abroad also included operating of domestic flights for purpose of evacuation of stranded citizens in different States. However, the flight chart of Air India does not show any flights being operated to State of Kerala".

The matter is now posted on 15th May.
[Read Order]

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