New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Central government on a plea seeking to ensure food security for all refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna sought a response from the Central government on the plea filed by advocate Fazal Abdali.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) sought direction from governments to provide free dry rations to all the refugees and asylum seekers who are registered with the UNHCR, India without any requirement of a Ration card, Aadhaar card or any other documentation.
The petitioner also urged that nutritious meals be provided for refugees and asylum-seekers along with entitlements mandated under the Food Security Act.
The economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 crisis has precipitated the food insecurity being faced by refugees and asylum-seekers, and the failure by authorities to take steps to ameliorate them will have crippling consequences for the refugee population, plea stated.
As per the UNHCR factsheet, there are 2,10,201 refugees and asylum-seekers residing in India. Out of that, there are 2,03,235 refugees from Sri Lanka and Tibet, and 40,859 refugees and asylum-seekers of other nationalities are registered under the UNHCR's mandate, the plea claimed.
It added that there are around 2000 refugees who are not registered with UNHCR as the registration process has been gravely affected due to the COVID-19. (ANI)