Boutique Litigation Law Firm - Retain Lawyers - Research based Law Firm - Complete legal services

SC directs concerned State/UT to immediately provide transport to migrants found walking, no fare to be charged

The SC in Suo Motu petition on May 28, 2020 {IN RE : PROBLEMS AND MISERIES OF MIGRANT LABOURERS} held that although there is no doubt that the concerned State Governments / Union Territories are taking steps to do the needful but there are several difficulties and lapses which are being noticed in the process of registration, transportation and in providing water, food, shelter to these migrant workers. It was held that it is also seen that even after registration, the migrant workers have to wait for a period which may go from a week to month for their turn to board the bus / train. 

It was observed by the Bench, comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul & Justice M.R. Shah, that the SC is at present concerned with the miseries and difficulties of the migrant workers in going to their native place and the difficulties with which they are faced. It was held that a large number of migrant workers are still seen proceeding on foot to different places. 

However, Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General submitted that the Central Government as well as the State Governments / Union Territories are taking all necessary steps to ensure that no difficulty is caused to the migrant workers in their transportation.

In view of the problems faced by the migrants, the SC issued following interim directions:

"1. No fare either by train or by bus shall be charged from any migrant workers. The railway fare shall be shared by the States as per their arrangement as submitted by the learned Solicitor General and in no case any fare should be asked or charged from any migrant workers by the States and the Railways.

2. The migrant workers who are stranded at different places in the country shall be provided food free of cost by the concerned States / Union Territories at different places which shall be publicized and notified to them during the period they are waiting for their turn to board the train or bus.

3. Initially, as stated by the learned Solicitor General, the originating State shall provide water and meal and during the journey, the railways shall provide meal and water to the migrant workers and same facilities shall be extended when the migrant workers are transported by bus. The State shall take care of providing necessities water and meal during the period of transportation either in the bus or in the camps on the way.

4. We further direct that the State shall simplify and speed up the process of registration of migrant workers and also provide help desk for registration at the places where they are stranded.

5. The State shall try to endeavour that after registration the workers should be asked to board the train or bus at the earliest and complete information should be publicized to all the concerned regarding mode of transport.

6. We further direct that those migrant workers who are found walking on the highways or roads shall be immediately taken care by the concerned State / Union Territories and they shall be provided the transport to the destination and all facilities including food and water be provided to those found walking on the road.

7. The receiving State, after the migrant workers reach his native place, shall provide transport, health screening and other facilities free of cost."

The matter was listed for further hearing on 05.06.2020 by the SC.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published