Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, MR Shah
Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, MR Shah

[Breaking] “Crisis of Migrant Labourers continuing till today”, Supreme Court takes suo motu cognizance

Debayan Roy

Even as India continues to be under lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the problems faced by migrant labourers “who have been stranded in different parts of the country.” (Supreme Court Suo Motu Migrant Crisis)

A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah has issued notice to the Centre and all states and union territories, directing them to submit their responses to tackle this “urgent” situation.

The Apex Court has noted that though the Centre and the states have taken measures, there have been certain lapses. The Bench also noted how the media has constantly been showing the plight of the migrant workers “walking bare-foot”.

"The newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortunate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances. They have also been complaining 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."

Supreme Court

The Court has further noted that as the country continues to be in lockdown, the migrant workers need “succour and help by the concerned Governments”, and that “steps need to be taken by the Government of India, State Governments/Union Territories in this difficult situation to extend helping hand to these migrant labourers.”

In its order, the three-judge Bench has stated that it had received communication from different sectors highlighting the plight of migrant workers. It goes on to note how the “crisis of migrant labourers is even continuing today with large sections still stranded on roads, highways, railway stations and State borders.”

The matter is to be listed on May 28, now when the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is expected to apprise the Court on the steps taken by the government to address the migrant crisis in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown.


SC Suo Motu Migrant Crisis.pdf
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