Food, shelter and free journey: Five big takeaways from Supreme Court order on migrants

By: |
Updated: May 29, 2020 12:35 PM

Lakhs of migrant workers were stranded across the country without food, shelter and transportation after the nationwide lockdown was announced by the Central government from March 25 at just four-hour notice to limit the spread of coronavirus.

delhi migrant crisisLakhs of migrant workers, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were stranded in Delhi ever since the lockdown was announced in March. (File PTI)

The Supreme Court has asked some searching questions from the Centre on the plight of the migrants during the lockdown. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan on Tuesday asked how long migrants will have to wait to return to their home. The bench, also comprising Justices SK Kaul and MR Shah, further directed states and the Centre that no fare for migrants’ travel back home be charged and they be provided food and water. The top court’s observation came amid disturbing reports of migrants’ sufferings across the country. Although the Centre is running Shramik Special trains to ferry stranded migrants back home, the numbers of trains being run are unable to accommodate them.

Here’s what Supreme Court said on the issue of migrant workers:

1. All migrants who are stranded at various places shall be provided food by concerned states and Union Territories at places which shall be publicised and notified to them for the period they are waiting for their turn to board a train or a bus.

2. The Supreme Court directed that states shall oversee the registration of migrant workers and ensure that they are made to board the train or bus at the earliest. It said the originating state shall provide meals and water at the station and during the journey, the Railways would provide the same to the migrant workers. Food and water will also be provided to them for travel in buses.

3. On migrant workers walking hundreds of kms to reach their homes in the scorching heat, the court directed that migrant workers found walking on the roads should immediately be taken to shelters and provided food and other necessary facilities.

4. The Supreme Court said that there is no doubt that the concerned state governments and UTs are taking steps, but several lapses have been noticed in the process of registration, transportation and providing food, water to the migrants. It said even after registration for travel, the migrants have to wait for a long time for their turns to come.

5. The court said details regarding number of migrant workers, plan for transportation, mechanism for registration and other relevant information should be brought on record. It also said that the Railways has to provide trains as and when the state government puts in such requests.

Lakhs of migrant workers were stranded across the country without food, shelter and transportation after the nationwide lockdown was announced by the Central government from March 25 at just four-hour notice to limit the spread of coronavirus.

According to the government data, between May 1 and 27 total of 3,700 special trains have been run for carrying migrant workers and many have been shifted by road to bordering states. Nearly 91 lakh migrant workers have been shifted to their native places till Wednesday.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on June 5.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1NIA begins probe into Kerala gold smuggling case
2West Bengal COVID-19 lockdown: Record single-day spike in cases on second day of shutdown in containment zones
3SC allows email, fax, instant messaging apps like WhatsApp for service of notices, summons