The Madras High Court has directed the Centre to rescue 62 Tamil fishermen stranded in Saudi Arabiaand produce them by April 28.
A division bench of the court’s Madurai bench, comprising justices A. Selvam and B. Gokuldas, gave the interim direction while hearing a Habeas Corpus petition, filed by G. Thirumugan, a relative of one of the stranded fishermen, last evening.
The bench rejected the plea of counsel for the central government who sought four weeks time to filea counter-affidavit.
The court said it was the Centre’s duty to ensure the safe return of the fishermen through diplomatic channels. The petitioner said his uncle K Sethu Raja and other fishermen had gone to Saudi Arabia on different dates since 2013 to work in the company of one Yusuf Khaleel in Al Jubail.
He alleged that the employer had cheated them and was refusing to return their passports. Even Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had written to the Centre to rescue them, counsel for the petitioner said.
( Source – PTI )