Coronavirus lockdown: Supreme Court dismisses petition seeking relief to migrants on roads, says ‘let states decide’

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Updated: May 15, 2020 12:54 PM

Sixteen migrant workers were mowed down by a speeding goods train in Maharashtra's Aurangabad last week. The migrants, hailing from Madhya Pradesh, were returning to their native places.

Supreme Court of India. File pic

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre to identify migrants walking on the roads and provide them shelter and food. The court said that it is “impossible for this court to monitor who is walking and not walking”.

“Let the state decide. Why should the court hear or decide?” the Supreme Court said as it dismissed the plea filed by lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava.

Alok had also referred to the Aurangabad incident where 16 migrant workers hailing from Madhya Pradesh were sleeping on railway tracks and were run over by a goods train. To this, the Supreme Court said, “How can anyone stop this when they sleep on railway tracks? How do you stop migrants who want to keep walking?”

The court further observed that advocates read incidents in the paper and claim to be knowledgeable about every subject. “Your knowledge is totally based on newspaper clippings and then you want this court to decide,” the court said and asked him whether he can implement the government orders.

Sixteen migrant workers were mowed down by a speeding goods train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad last week. The migrants, hailing from Madhya Pradesh, were returning to their native places. All of them were exhausted and had fallen asleep on the rail track when the incident occurred.

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