The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it was looking into the petitions to allow students who have returned from Ukraine to continue their education in India, The Hindu reported.
Attorney General of India KK Venugopal said that the court should leave it to the central government to make a decision on these representations.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice Krishna Murari recorded Venugopal’s submissions and decided to dispose of two pleas – a public interest litigation filed by Advocate Vishal Tiwari and a petition by a student named Fathima Ahana, Live Law reported.
Both petitioners had sought directions to the government to take steps for their evacuation from war-hit Ukraine. A medical student at Odessa in Ukraine, Ahana a few others were rescued through Moldova to Romania, from where they were flown to India.
At Monday’s hearing, Tiwari submitted that measures be taken to ensure that the students who were evacuated are allowed to complete their education in India.
Venugopal informed the court that Tiwari’s petition was primarily concerned with bringing home the stranded Indian students, The Hindu reported.
“We have already brought 22,500 [Indian] students and nationals of other countries,” he said. The Centre has also told the Rajya Sabha that these 22,500 students were evacuated between February 1 and March 11 in 90 flights.
The bench then took note of the attorney general’s submission.
“Both these writ petitions were filed seeking reliefs,” it said, LiveLaw reported. “AG [Venugopal] has made submissions, all students are brought back to India and nothing survives.”
The bench also said that the government is considering studies of students who have not completed their education due to the war.
In earlier hearings, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to help the stranded students.
On March 4, the court had refused to pass an interim order on Ahana’s petition but told the government to “work out something” to allay the concerns of those stranded in Ukraine.
Later on March 14, the Centre had assured the Lok Sabha that it will look into ways for Indian students to complete their education in India.
“When we have brought them [Indian students], you remain assured that government will ponder over making arrangements,” Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan had said. “The priority is to get the students out of the shock [of the war].”
Stranded students in Ukraine
Several Indians, mostly medical students, had been trapped in Ukraine after Russia began its invasion of the former Soviet country on February 24. Many of them had alleged they were tortured by Ukrainian authorities and prevented from crossing into neighbouring countries.
While describing their ordeal on social media, they had also accused the Indian government of not doing enough to help them cross over to Romania and other countries neighbouring Ukraine.
The government has been carrying out evacuation through these neighbouring countries as Ukraine has closed its airspace for civil aviation.
The Union government has not made any official statement if the evacuation process from Ukraine has been completed, but the three flights that landed in India on March 11 are considered among the last ones, according to PTI.
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