The Delhi High Court Wednesday questioned a PIL petitioner as to how he got details of Indians who are claimed to be stranded in Afghanistan and faced threats to their lives and properties at the hands of Taliban.
The high court directed the authorities concerned to decide the representation given by the petitioner. When the petitioner’s counsel said they were in constant touch with those Indians stranded in Afghanistan, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said, “We have a doubt about this fact”.
Petitioner Parminder Pal Singh, a social activist and former spokesman of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, sought to direct the authorities to issue e-visa to 227 Indian and Afghan nationals of Hindu and Sikh origins who are stranded in Afghanistan and to facilitate their evacuation.
During the hearing, the court questioned the petitioner about the authenticity of the list which gave details of persons claiming to be stranded in Afghanistan.
When the petitioner’s counsel said these are from visa copies submitted to the Ministry of External Affairs, the court asked from where he got the copies.
Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan submitted that the government has made all efforts to evacuate the Indians stranded in Afghanistan and added that the authorities do not wish to disclose the details of those stranded to the petitioner.
Petitioner, represented through advocate Gurinder Pal Singh, submitted that stranded persons are constantly facing threats to their lives and properties at the hands of Taliban and alleged that the Indian government has not taken any steps to provide assistance to them for their evacuation and repatriation from Afghanistan to India.
As per the petition, the sources of information are stranded Indian and Afghan nationals, NGO Indian World Forum, online news portals, website of MEA and others.
The petitioner sought direction to the government to issue e-visa to the stranded persons at the earliest and facilitate the evacuation of all the 227 stranded persons from Afghanistan to India by way of chartered or special flights currently operating out of Kabul, Afghanistan or through any other mode.
The plea said a representation was made to the Indian authorities by the Presidents of a gurudwara and a temple in Kabul for issurance of e-visa an early evacuation of the stranded persons but to no avail.