Families moved Court after appeals to PM, President, Ministry yielded no result

The Delhi High Court has directed the Union Government to file a status report on two separate petitions by a woman and a man seeking a direction for making arrangements for the safe return from Iran of their husband and son respectively, whose passports were snatched by a private company there and who were kept in illegal confinement and tortured before they escaped from captivity.

The woman petitioner, Priti Pandaya, hails from Gujarat while the male petitioner, Hamid Khan, is from Delhi.

According to the petitioners, Ms. Pandaya’s husband Sanket Pandaya and Khan’s son Mohammad Hussain Khan are at present staying at the Indian Embassy in Tehran. The two electrical engineers had gone to Iran last year through an arrangement between Iranian company Messrs Vazarjanhan and Indian company Power Engineering Limited to work on a project to set up a power plant in that country. They worked in the Indian company.

The Iranian company snatched their passports to pressurise the Indian company to settle some disputes which had arisen between the two during implementation of the project.

The two engineers reached the Indian Embassy in Tehran this past January after somehow establishing a telephonic contact with Naresh Chaturvedi, Third Secretary in the Embassy, who asked them to escape from captivity and promised to make some alternative arrangements for their repatriation.

However, they are still stranded at the Embassy, the petitioners said.

Before moving Court, the petitioners approached the Prime Minister, the President and the Ministry for External Affairs, requesting them to make arrangements for the safe return of two engineers to India but all their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Asking for replies from the Government and other respondents in the petition, Justice Manmohan directed the Government to file the status report within three weeks.

The matter will now come up for hearing on May 27.

  • Two electrical engineers went to Iran last year

    to work, their passports were snatched

  • They escaped from captivity; are currently stranded at the Indian embassy in Tehran