The Supreme Court on Tuesday, while hearing a petition seeking evacuation of Indian citizens stranded in the United States, said that they cannot be brought back amid the coronavirus lockdown.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that the Indian citizens stranded in the US cannot be brought no matter how much we want.
“Assistance is being given to them. They are spread across the US. They cannot be brought back. US government is extending visas. Let’s wait for some time,” the court said.
Petitioner and advocate Vibha Dutta Makhija said that there is no guarantee of visas getting extended as the application for extension of visas costs around 500 dollars.
The apex court said that it cannot control the decision of a foreign government and added that the Indian government can request the US government not to create problems in the visa extensions.
“We have a list of 110 people in dire need of help. Helplines are there. The government has said they will consider evacuation on a case by case basis. Evacuations have been done before. There needs to be fairness,” Makhija told the court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that evacuations were done earlier and added that it has now been stopped internationally.
“Each country is trying to do its best to do and act. Why don’t you understand?” Justice Kaul said and observed we are not in a position to direct anything at this time.
Makhija said that some of the citizens are in high-risk zones and many of them are cancer patients, to which Mehta responded by saying that there are officers there to look after these issues and avail help to the people.