The court called out the Government of India and the State Governments over the inadequacies and certain lapses in their measures taken for the migrants.

New Delhi: Supreme Court of India on Tuesday took suo motu note of media reports about the plight of migrant labourers who are stranded in different parts of the country due to COVID-19 pandemic. The apex court bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the Central and State governments to report to the court on the steps being taken to tackle the miseries and problems of migrants.

A three-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.R. Shah besides Justice Ashok Bhushan said during the case that several newspapers and other media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant workers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances.

The court recognised labourers’ complaint of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or in the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on-foot, cycles or other modes of transport.

“In the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section of the society needs succor and help by the concerned Governments especially steps need to be taken by Centre, State Govts/UTs in this difficult situation to extend helping hand to these migrant labourers,” top court said.

The court called out the Government of India and the State Governments over the inadequacies and certain lapses in their measures taken for the migrants.

“We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation. Adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and State Governments free of costs,” the three judge bench observed.

It further issued notice to the Centre, States and Union Territories and asked them to report to it on “steps taken to redeem the miseries of migrant labourers”.

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