While hearing a plea on behalf of over 250 pregnant Indian women praying for evacuation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Supreme Court observed that women who are at the final stage of pregnancy (Third Trimester) must be given top priority for purposes of repatriation.
"The Government shall explore the question of further priority as per the specific cases of the petitioners and shall take appropriate steps accordingly." - Supreme Court
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul & BR Gavai heard the plea whereunder, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted that the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for purposes of evacuation were being strictly followed.
"Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General submits that in the SOP, priority is already given to the pregnant women as per clause 2(iii). He submits that appropriate steps shall be take with regard to the petitioners as per the aforesaid clause" - The Court noted.
"One petitioner is in advance stage of pregnancy. Priority should be given to her" - Supreme Court
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising appeared for petitioner(s) in a PIL insinuated under Article 32 of the Constitution and filed by Advocate Jose Abraham averred that the petitioners are Nurses & Doctors in various provinces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and are are exposed to vulnerable conditions, thereby "proving to be fatal to them as well as the fetuses".
The petitioners highlighted the vulnerability of petitioners, especially in this crucial time wherein "the Petitioners are living alone in Saudi Arabia with no family to take care of them" and access to appropriate medical facilities is also far-fetched.
Further to this, the petitioner stated that the Government was duty bound to effectuate tenets of Article 21 of the constitution and "not only to protect the life of unborn child from arbitrary and unjust destruction, but also not to deny it equal protection under Article-14"
In this backdrop, the petitioner(s) had additionally sought directions by the Court to the Embassy of Riyadh to take measures to ensure that the petitioners have access to proper medical facilities till repatriation is carried out, as the absence thereof could prove to be fatal to them and their fetuses.
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