The Supreme Court on Tuesday urged the government to “find some solution” to bring home Indians, mostly blue-collar workers from Tamil Nadu, stranded in Kuwait during the pandemic.
“You have to do something... You have to find some solution”, Justice M.R. Shah, a member of the three-judge Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, addressed Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, representing the Centre.
Mr. Nataraj submitted that “every attempt is being made” to bring them home and hinted that there were some “diplomatic issues” to be considered.
“That is why we are saying you have to find some solution... They want to get out of Kuwait”, Justice Shah said.
Senior advocate S. Nagamuthu, for Velinadu Vazh Tamilar Nala Sangham, said nearly 33,000 Indians were in dire straits in Kuwait without food, water and basic comforts. Every day was a trial for them while awaiting repatriation.
Hearing after four weeks
The court scheduled a hearing after four weeks.
The petition said the pandemic may continue for an indefinite period of time and citizens could not be left stranded in inhuman conditions in a foreign country.
It sought a direction from the government to make a list of stranded Indians, draw up a schedule for their repatriation and, in the meanwhile, get in touch with the Embassy in Kuwait to provide them with basic essentials and medicines.
The petition said that in dire situations orchestrated by a global crisis each country took care of its own people. A foreign country would prioritise its own people over the Indians there. Added to this fact, the majority of the countries were finding it difficult to match their efforts to the alarming spike in cases, it pointed out.