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PIL in Delhi HC seeks to establish NRI Commission at national level

ANI | Updated: Apr 16, 2021 17:29 IST

New Delhi [India], April 16 (ANI): A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi High Court on Friday seeking to establish a Non-Resident Indians Commission (NRI Commission) at the national level to address the concerns of Indians living outside the country.
The PIL was filed by Anisur Rehman through advocate Jose Abraham. Rehman claimed that he is an NRI currently working in Sultanate of Oman, and is well aware of the challenges faced by the NRI community on foreign land as well as in the home country.
Rehman, in his PIL, said he wants to protect the fundamental right of NRIs guaranteed under the Constitution of India and has therefore urged the court to issue direction to the Centre to consider his representation and take appropriate action on the same.
He said that there are millions of Indian expatriates who are living in labour camps and other deplorable areas for better lives for their families in India.
"The NRIs are a section which makes a pivotal contribution in the development of the nation. The NRI community has always seen at the forefront to help the country in times of crisis caused by internal issues or calamities. The most recent example is the wholehearted support extended by the Indian expatriates especially in GCC countries during the havoc caused by floods in southern India," the plea said.
The advocate said that NRIs are seen as a vulnerable section in these times when the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading at a rapid pace.
"The Indian expatriates also face exploitation and breach of contract in many countries. Indians are also languishing in foreign prisons under false and fabricated charges. Many Indian women are physically and mentally exploited either by their employer or many times by even their own husbands," read the petition.

"The issues of concern to the NRIs are varied in nature. The NRIs have to face immense difficulties in India as well. In recent times, one often gets to hear of reports of difficulties faced by NRIs to start an enterprise in India," it said.
It further stated that the union and state governments have always assured the NRI organisations of fullest support with initiatives focusing on the NRIs undertaken from time to time.
The petitioner apprised the court that so far only three state governments--Punjab, Kerala and Goa have constituted an NRI Commission.
The petitioner submitted that an NRI commission at the national level is the need of the hour and the need for it has become dire in the current pandemic situation.
He said that Covid-19 has caused immense hardships to the Indian NRI community. It is estimated that lakhs of Indians have lost their source of employment or are on the verge of losing their jobs, the plea claimed.
Rehman said that the present situation has also increased the need for a National NRI commission on the lines of the proposed Commission for Migrant Labours.
The petitioner said that a national level commission will help in streamlining all the NRI related welfare schemes at one platform and in safeguarding the interest of the expatriates in a more efficacious and effective manner.
The Delhi High Court will hear the petition on April 22. (ANI)