March 20, 2023

According to the plea, all of the petitioners come from very humble backgrounds. (File)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued discover to the Central authorities on the plea of households of 5 seafarers stranded in Iran in search of instructions to supply authorized and counsellor service to seafarers and safe their repatriation.

The household additionally sought path to the Centre to actively pursue the matter with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for expeditious disposal of the matter by the Supreme Court of Iran.

A bench of Justice Rekha Palli on Tuesday sought a response from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) within the matter and slated the matter for July 27. The household of stranded Indians has additionally sought path to supply ample medical and monetary help, boarding and lodging and all different obligatory consular companies to the seafarers until such time they’re repatriated again to India.

According to the plea, all of the petitioners come from very humble backgrounds. On completion of their marine course, the seafarers have assured a job within the United Arab Emirates.

“They flew separately to UAE but to their great shock and dismay and contrary to what was represented to them by their placement agents, they were taken to Iran where they joined a Cargo vessel MV Artin 10 as Seafarers performing only menial duties. From October 15, 2019, onwards the said Vessel sailed through various ports including Port Busher, Al-Ruwais Port Qatar, Bandar Abbas Iran etc where the cargo was loaded and unloaded,” learn the plea.

“On February 21, 2020, while the vessel was in deep seat at Strait of Hormoz, the Iranian authorities raided the vessel and arrested the Captain along with the Seafarers and charged them with conspiracy to smuggle narcotics in the deep sea. The owner of the Vessel too was subsequently arrested by the local Iranian authorities. The Seafarers remained in custody at Chabahar Jail for almost 403 days (i.e. from February 22, 2020, to March 8, 2021) during which time, despite repeated requests, written representations and communications, no potential assistance including legal assistance were extended to them by the Government of India,” it mentioned.

Further, on March 8, 2021, the Trial Court in Chabahar, Iran acquitted all 5 Seafarers and on March 9, 2021, they set their foot to freedom. However, the Iranian authorities refused at hand over their passport and Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC).

Later, the Seafarers have been knowledgeable later that the matter had been referred to the Supreme Court of Iran. They have been additional knowledgeable that by June 23, 2021, the matter could be lastly determined by the Supreme Court.

“Till date, the Government of India and more particularly the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Tehran have not taken any steps to provide any assistance, financial or legal whatsoever to them which they were entitled to, being Indian Citizens. The long ordeal and waiting have taken a toll on both mental and physical well-being of these five Seafarers,” the plea mentioned.

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