Bombay HC asks govt for report on arrangements made for sustenance of migrant workers

The petitioners contended that migrants have been left in dark about the status of their train applications and they were made to live in cramped and unhygienic shelters, without food

Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Photo Courtesy: Social Media

NH Web Desk

The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the state government to file a report indicating the whole procedure a migrant is required to follow in order to be eligible for leaving the state, the likely time within which they could board a train/bus, the nature of shelter they are provided with during the waiting period as well as provisions made available for their sustenance.

A Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice KK Tated heard the PIL filed by Centre of Indian Trade Unions raising the issue of plight of those migrant workers who have already submitted their application for leaving the State through Shramik Special Trains and buses. The petitioners contended that these migrants have been left in the dark about the status of their applications and for the time being they have been made to live in cramped and unhygienic shelters, without being provided with food and other essentials.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appearing for the Union of India submitted that the Supreme Court was seized of the issue of migrant workers and a detailed order has been passed on May 28, 2020 taking care of the plight of such migrant workers.

On perusal of the order dated May 28, 2020, the bench noted that certain directions have been issued by the Supreme Court to all the states for simplifying and speeding up the process of registration of migrant workers as well as to provide help desk for registration at the places where they are stranded. All the state governments have been directed to file their responses and the suo motu writ petition is due to be listed next on June 5, 2020.

The court observed, "At this stage, neither are we empowered nor do we wish to make any order contrary to the spirit of the order of the Supreme Court. However, having regard to the peculiar local conditions, we consider it fit and proper to call upon the state to file a report indicating therein how the plight of the migrant workers, who have been assembling at the railway stations/bus stands in Mumbai and places around it, are being addressed."

The bench also referred to photographs in newspapers showing congregation of migrant workers not only on railway platforms but also on the streets adjoining the railway stations. Such a congregation, if allowed, would run counter to the object for which the lockdown has been imposed, the court said.

The bench directed the state to file the said report by June 2, the next date of hearing.

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Published: 30 May 2020, 3:25 PM