Will attempt to repatriate pregnant woman from US on May 13: Centre to SC

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to examine the plea of a pregnant woman seeking immediate repatriation via a scheduled May 13 Air India flight. The Centre told the apex court it will seriously attempt to assist the family of the woman to board the flight from San Francisco to Bangalore on May 13.

A bench of Justices Nageswara Rao, Abdul Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna asked the Centre to act on the petition, but did not pass any order.

Advocate Anand Sanjay Nuli, representing the petitioners, contended before the bench that his client is in an advanced stage of pregnancy and she is stuck in the US along with her 18-month-old daughter and husband, and any delay in her repatriation is likely to have an adverse effect on her health.

The plea contended that the petitioner is in the third trimester of her pregnancy and is living in an extreme state of uncertainty and in a condition proving fatal to herself and the fetus.

Last week, while hearing a plea on behalf of many pregnant Indian women seeking return from Saudi Arabia, the apex court observed that women who are in the final stage of pregnancy must be given top priority during repatriation.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta contended that taking note of the health condition of the petitioner, a serious attempt is being made to assist her to board the flight from San Francisco to Bangalore scheduled to leave on Wednesday.

The petition contended Pooja Chaudhary and her family had return flights to India after a composite business trip on April 6. However, due to restrictions imposed by the Director General of Civil Aviation on the operation of international flights, the petitioner and her family have been stranded in the US.

The petitioner sought “appropriate arrangements” for the family”s travel to India via “Air India Flight No. AI 174 which is scheduled to depart from San Francisco on May 13 or at the next earliest possible opportunity. The petitioner also sought direction from the top court to ensure that she has access to proper medical facilities. The apex court has been taking up petitions of several stranded Indian citizens, in various countries, since the lockdown was imposed and international cross-border air travel was also closed.


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