Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 26
Taking suo motu cognisance of the plight of migrant workers stranded in various parts of the country due to Covid-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre, states and Union Territories asking these to spell out measures taken to deal with the crisis.
“In the present situation of lockdown in the country, this section of society needs succour and help by the governments concerned, especially steps to be taken by the Government of India, state governments/UTs in this difficult situation to extend a helping hand to these migrant labourers,” said a three-judge Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan.
The order comes amid criticism from various quarters over SC’s alleged failure in coming to the rescue of stranded workers, many of whom died in accidents while headed home on foot.
“Although the Government of India and state governments have taken measures, there have been inadequacies and certain lapses,” it said, directing them to immediately provide “adequate transport arrangement, food and shelter free of cost to migrant workers”.
Looking into the urgency of the matter, the SC posted it for further hearing on Thursday.
Taking suo motu cognisance of “problems and miseries” of migrant labourers, the Bench, which also included Justices SK Kaul and MR Shah, said: “Newspaper and media reports have been showing miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on foot and cycles for long distances.”
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