Migrant crisis: Supreme Court asks state governments to provide workers with free food and shelter

Migrant workers’ crisis

AgenciesUpdated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 07:44 AM IST
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Taking cognizance of the "unfortunate and miserable" plight of the migrant labourers stranded across the country due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court Tuesday said they need "succour and help by the concerned governments" with regard to free food and shelter. "The adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and State Governments free of costs," the top court said.

Although the Centre and states have taken measures to provide them relief, there have been "inadequacies and certain lapses", said the Supreme Court which took the suo motu (on its own) cognizance of the situation.

Referring to various media reports showing the "unfortunate and miserable conditions" of migrant labourers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances, the top court issued notices to the Centre, states and Union Territories and sought their replies by May 28.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah said, "This Court has also received several letters and representations from different sections of society highlighting the problem of migrant labourers. The crises of migrant labourers are even continuing today with large sections still stranded on roads, highways, railway stations and State borders."

It said, "We take suo motu cognizance of problems and miseries of migrant labourers who had been stranded in different parts of the country. The newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances."

30 LG Polymers workers may maintain safety

The SC on Wednesday allo­wed LG Polymers India Ltd to send its 30 employees to maintain “round the clock safety measures” at its sealed plant in Visakhapatnam where the gas leak took place on May 7 in which as many as 12 people, including a minor, were killed. The court was hearing the appeal of the LG Polymers against the May 22 order of the AP HC directing that "the premises of the company shall be completely seized and no one be allowed to enter into the premises including the Directors of the Company."

Notices to 4 states on Sharjeel’s plea for clubbing FIRs

The SC on Tuesday sought replies from UP, Assam, Arunachal and Manipur on a plea by JNU student and anti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam seeking clubbing of multiple FIRs levelling sedition charges against him for allegedly mak­ing inflammatory speeches. The court gave another opportunity to the Delhi government to file its response on Imam's plea which also sought the transfer of all criminal cases against him to the national capital and probe by a single agency.

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