18 Pregnant Indian Nurses and Doctors approach SC for Urgent Repatriation from Saudi Arabia to India as living conditions turn vulnerable
Litigation News

18 Pregnant Indian Nurses and Doctors approach SC for Urgent Repatriation from Saudi Arabia to India as living conditions turn vulnerable

The petitioners have also prayed for directions to be issued to the Indian Embassy Saudi Arabia, to arrange medical facilities until they are repatriated.

Debayan Roy

A group of Indian medical professionals from Kerala residing in Saudi Arabia who are in their third trimester of pregnancy has approached the Supreme Court seeking immediate repatriation as living conditions there are vulnerable amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The writ petition under Article 32 has been moved by Advocate Jose Abraham who has stated that the plea needed to be heard urgently as all the 18 women-petitioners in the case would not be able to travel once they enter the 36th week of gestation.

The petitioners have stated that due to closure of airports in India to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the petitioners could not reach the country even though all of them had tickets booked for the month of March and April in consonance with their scheduled delivery dates.

The plea further states that all 18 petitioners are living alone in the country. They have raised grievance that with no family to take care of them and hospitals being converted as COVID-19 treatment centres, the conditions for them and their fetuses are vulnerable.

In some of the cases, the petitioners are also posted in remote parts of Saudi Arabia, where facilities are scarce but where they hardly have the resources to afford treatment in private hospitals.

Some of the petitioners had also resigned from their jobs anticipating their arrival in India for delivery. However, with restrictions on domestic and international flights in India, some of the petitioners are left with no income or resources.

The plea now says that the petitioners need to be brought back urgently as it is a question of the life of unborn children.

"It is the duty of the State to ensure that the Petitioners who are pregnant and are stuck in Saudi Arabia in vulnerable condition are brought back to India in time and are given proper treatment as it is not only the question of the Petitioners life alone but also the unborn child," reads the plea.

The petitioners have also prayed for directions be issued to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to arrange for medical facilities for all the petitioners till they are allowed to return.

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