The Government of India informed the Kerala High Court on Friday that the third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission for repatriation of Indian citizens stranded abroad is due to start on June 10 and that the Keralites in Bangladesh, Dhaka are being accommodated on the flights scheduled on June 15 and 16 from Dhaka to Delhi.
The High Court was hearing a writ petition seeking directions to the UOI and the DGCA to arrange for early repatriation by air for Keralites including the petitioner and his wife from Dhaka to Kerala.
The ASG, for the Centre, further submitted that connecting flights would also be available from Delhi to the Airports in Kerala for the travel of such persons and the petitioners can avail the ticket for onward travel.
Noting that that in case the petitioner and his wife are accommodated on the repatriation flights on 15.06.2020 or 16.06.2020, their grievances would stand redressed, the Single Judge recorded the submissions made by the ASGI.
Earlier, on April 11, in the first phase of the lockdown, the High Court had sought the response of the Central Government for the return of Keralites stranded in Gulf Cooperation Council nations. A decision on the repatriation of Indians stranded abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be taken for one state alone, said the UOI then.
The High Court of Kerala on May 9 had observed that the Government of India must take adequate steps to ensure repatriation of those who are unable to meet the applicable flight charges free of cost.
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