Coronavirus lockdown: SC seeks report from Centre on steps taken for migrant workers, next hearing tomorrow

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Published: March 30, 2020 3:13:23 PM

The petition was filed just a day after thousands of migrant and daily wage workers across the national capital gathered at the Delhi-UP border to go back to their hometowns. A sea of crowds gathered in just a matter of hours at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal.

The top court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, seeking food, water and shelter for migrant workers and their families, who were walking on foot to their villages amid lockdown.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file a report on steps being taken for relief to migrant and daily wage workers affected by complete lockdown across the country. The court, however, said that it would it would deal with everything except what the Centre was already doing on the matter. The top court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, seeking food, water and shelter for migrant workers and their families, who were walking on foot to their villages amid the ongoing lockdown.

Representing the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that the central government and all state governments were taking all necessary steps to mitigate the situation. He submitted to the apex court that he wanted to file an affidavit while replying to the petition filed by the lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava.

Following this, the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde told petitioner Alakh Alok Srivastava, that the court will deal with everything but not with what the central government was already doing. “We want to go through the government’s affidavit, which it has to file, then we may hear it on Wednesday,” the CJI said, posting the matter for hearing on Tuesday.

The petition was filed just a day after thousands of migrant and daily wage workers across the national capital gathered at the Delhi-UP border to go back to their hometowns. A sea of crowds gathered in just a matter of hours at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal. Seeing a large number of crowd, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath decided to press 1000 buses into service to ferry these people to their respective districts.

While the situation was managed here swiftly, reports emerged that migrant workers from across the country were trying to walk back to their native places. A number of pictures and videos emerged on social media showing a stream of workers returning to their homes on foot.

Speaking to media, some of them said that they had nothing to eat for days and had no place to stay so it was better for them to walk back to their homes. However, the central and state governments have now reacted positively to these developments and have announced food and shelters for migrant workers.

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