The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to ensure the well-being of Indian students stranded at the airport in Almaty, Kazakhstan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Directing the Central government to “promptly appoint a nodal officer from the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan”, a bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh ordered the government “to expeditiously facilitate, secure and provide the students with all basic amenities and humanitarian assistance in terms of medical care, boarding (food), lodging and transportation, as may be necessary or warranted”.
The bench, in a special hearing held through video conferencing, directed the authorities that the “details and other necessary particulars of the Nodal Officer, so appointed, including his name and telephone number, be communicated to the Indian students stranded at the Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan”.
The court’s urgent direction were issued on a plea by Shehla Saira who said: “Indian nationals in sizeable numbers, who are enrolled for higher studies, including MBBS, as regular students, at the Semey Medical University in Kazakhstan, are stated to be stranded including at the Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan without food, water, transportation and medical aid since the last two-three days”.
Central government Standing Counsel Jasmeet Singh, after accepting the notice on behalf of the MEA, sought time to file a reply. The bench directed them to do so on March 27.
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