Delhi HC
Delhi HC

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the central government in getting in touch with and bringing back most of the Indian students stranded in Iran in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Justice Navin Chawla was informed by the counsel for the Centre that 119 Indians students, who were stuck in Iran and had moved the court through their parents, were tested for COVID-19 and that one student has tested positive and is undergoing treatment there.

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, representing the ministries of home, external affairs, health and aviation, told the court that out of those 119 students, 110 have returned to India and while five did not go for sampling, four have tested negative for the virus and are in Iran.

After perusing the status report filed by the government, the judge said, "I am satisfied with the steps taken by the respondents (authorities)".

The court also noted that authorities have done more than what was expected.

It was hearing a plea moved by the parents of the Indian students, who were stranded in Iran due to travel restrictions following the coronavirus outbreak, seeking directions to the Centre to evacuate them.

Advocate Fozia Rahman and M Qayam Ud Din, who appeared for the parents, said they have been able to contact several Indian students in Iran and as and when they will get in touch with other students, they will inform the Indian authorities.

The court also noted that in case the parents are able to contact the remaining students there, they shall inform the authorities who will then act expeditiously. The petition was disposed off by the bench.

The court had earlier directed the Centre to ensure that the Indian embassy in Iran gets in touch with the Indian students stranded there in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, instead of "merely issuing advisories", and to assure them of all assistance.

It had asked the central government to "do a little more" than what it was doing till then to evacuate over 3,000 Indian nationals, including pilgrims, fishermen and students, presently stranded in Iran.

The Centre's counsel had earlier told the court that all possible efforts were being made to work out modalities to operate a limited number of flights to enable early and safe return of Indians stranded in Iran.

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