On Monday, the apex court had asked the Centre to submit a report on steps being taken for migrant and daily wage workers. Today, the government submitted a report stating that it had taken care of all stranded workers and shifted them to he nearest shelter homes.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to ensure availability of water, food, and medicine for migrant workers who were shifted to shelter homes after they tried to walk back to their native places due to lockdown imposed in the wake of coronavirus. The apex court also told the central government not to use force against these people and let the whole affairs be managed by volunteers and not the police.
On Monday, the apex court had asked the Centre to submit a report on steps being taken for migrant and daily wage workers. Today, the government submitted a report stating that it had taken care of all stranded workers and shifted them to he nearest shelter homes. The Centre informed the court that as of now there was no migrant worker on roads.
During the hearing today, the bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao observed that much of the fear and panic was a result of fake news and misinformation around the coronavirus. Commenting on it further, the CJI said that fake news and panic would destroy more lives than coronavirus. To counter misinformation, the court asked the Centre to set up a portal to disseminate real-time information on the coronavirus outbreak.
Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the SC that there was complete prohibition on interstate migration. He said that the Centre was considering providing counseling to address the panic among the migrant and daily wage workers. He further informed the court that over 22 lakh 88 thousand people were being provided food.
Reacting to the submission, the court then asked the Centre to get some trained counsellors to calm the nerves of the panicked migrant and daily wage workers who are in government facilities. These directions came on a petition filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who sought food and shelter for migrant workers and their families, who were walking on foot to their villages due to complete lockdown.