The Madras High Court division bench of Justice Subbaiah and Justice Krishnaswamy has directed the Centre to file a report on when stranded Tamilians abroad will be flown back to India. This came during the hearing of a plea filed by DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan for the Madras HC to order the Tamil Nadu government to evacuate Tamil Nadu natives stranded in foreign countries under the Vande Bharat Mission.
On Friday, when the case came up for hearing before a bench of Justice Subbaiah and Justice Krishnaswamy, the External Affairs Ministry submitted that 40,433 Tamilians had applied to return home, of whom 14,065 Tamilians have returned home and 26,368 applications are under process.
Based on the permission given by the Central government, all the states have started flight operations. However, TKS Elangovan moved the High Court with the petition that the Tamil Nadu government has ordered against the Centre's order to operate flights and as a result, many Tamilians are stranded in the foreign countries without adequate food, water and medicines. Hence, the petitioner said the state should follow the central government's order and evacuate the stranded Tamilians from other countries.
Earlier, when the case came up for hearing, the court sought a report with the details of those stranded in foreign countries, the number of flights operated from Tamil Nadu, and how the government plans to evacuate the rest of the Indians. The High Court also sought the details on the relief provided to the stranded passengers.
The counsel appearing for DMK argued that the Centre did not provide the details on the number of flights operated to bring back the returnees, the flight cost and the relief measures provided to them by the government.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government counsel said that any number of flights can be operated under the Vande Bharat Mission to the state and there is no objection.
The High Court on Friday once again sought a response from the Centre on when the Tamilians stranded in the foreign countries will be brought back to India and the feasibility to fly additional flights under the Vande Bharat Mission.
The next hearing is set for June 23.