New Delhi, May 24 (ILNS) The Supreme Court will today hear a Suo Motu petition, taking into account the “problems and miseries of migrant labourers, ” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (In Re: Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers).
The two-Judge Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Justice MR Shah had earlier said that if the migrant workers want to go back home, the Centre and the State Governments should provide them with transport facilities and the governments should ensure that no exorbitant fare be charged from them.
The Bench had also directed the Centre and the State Government to make a provision of community kitchen and ensure that no migrant worker starves.
“The AatmaNirbhar Bharat scheme, which was implemented by the Central Government last year, can be extended to migrant workers this year also?,” the Court had asked the Centre.
The Bench also came down heavily on the state governments and asked the various state governments, “Why our order of June 9, 2020 was not adhered to by the state governments? We cannot make this plea infructuous. Last year, we issued directions in June on migrant workers, which had to be complied with.
“We may issue direction to clarify to some state government as to what has been done. We don’t want all states to be here and be a mass. We will confine to only 6-7 states like UP, Bihar, Gujarat. We will call upon them to file the replies,” the Bench said.
All these directions came while hearing an urgent application filed in the Suo Motu case of 2020 by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj and Jagdeep Chhokar, seeking directions to ensure that migrant and stranded labourers are not deprived of ration and food security.
The applicants contended that even though the states have been imposing decentralised COVID-19 curfews and lockdowns more cautiously this year, “They have offered little welfare support to working classes and migrants, whose livelihoods are at sea once again.” ILNS/ABV/RJ