SC asks AG to help in evacuation of medical students stranded in Ukraine near Romania border

New Delhi, Mar 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Attorney General for India, K.K. Venugopal, to use his good office in helping evacuate some Indian medical students stranded in war-ravaged Ukraine near the Romania border.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said earlier in the day, when the plea was mentioned for urgent hearing, that it sympathised with the stranded students and asked if the court candirect the head of a State to stop the war.
Please tell us what the court can do. Can we direct the President (of Russia) to stop the war?“, asked the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, and asked the counsel for petitioner Fathima Ahana, who is stranded in Ukraine, to wait inside the courtroom till the time Venugopal appears in court.
The bench took note of the submissions of Ahana’s lawyer that several students are stuck near the Romanian border in freezing cold, and the government is not running flights from Romania.
There are 1,000 students like this. But some have come here. We cannot say no’. Please use your good offices and do something”, the bench told Venugopal, who, in turn, apprised that the Prime Minister has sent one minister to Romania.
Venugopal said the Prime Minister has also talked to the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine and discussed this aspect.
“Flights are being operated from Poland and Hungary and not from Romania. The students, who also include many girls, are stuck without any facility,” the lawyer told the bench.
We have all sympathies with them. But what can the court do?” the bench asked.
It, however, asked the top law officer to consider extending help to the stranded students.
Venugopal asked whether students have crossed the Ukraine border and entered Romania.
Senior advocate A.M. Dar, appearing for the student, said that they are still in Ukraine and have not crossed over to Romania.
In the plea, filed through lawyer Abhay Anand Jena, Ahana has sought a direction to the Union Ministry of External Affairs [MEA] to secure permission for her and other stranded students to cross the checkpoint in Moldova from Ukraine enroute to Romania for boarding the Air India evacuation flight.
It has also sought a direction to the MEA to immediately take effective diplomatic steps and measures for the evacuation of the petitioner and others from Ukraine to India.

“Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or directions, thereby directing the Respondent to ensure the essential and emergency supplies like medical, housing and lodging facilities, and supply of food and other necessities to the Petitioner,” 
it said.
Ahana, a resident of Indiranagar in Banglore, is a medical student from National Medical University in Odessa, Ukraine, since 2017.
“The ongoing war in Russia and Ukraine has left the life and liberty of the petitioner in danger, who is residing in Ukraine for studies. Besides the petitioner, over 250 Indian students are presently stranded in Ukraine,” her plea said.

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