Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court
Litigation News

[Coronavirus Lockdown] Kerala High Court asks Government to respond on steps taken to provide food, shelter to Migrant Workers

Meera Emmanuel

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Kerala Government to inform the Court of steps taken by it to take care of migrant workers in the State, amid the national lockdown in place to curb the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

A Bench of Justices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Shaji P Chaly passed the order after taking note of concerns raised by Amicus Curiae, Advocate Parvathi Sanjay over the status of migrant workers in Ernakulam and Kottayam districts.

Taking note of the same, the Court said,

"... we are of the opinion that a statement has to be filed with respect to Ernakulam District and Kottayam District concerning the steps taken by the State of Kerala to provide food and shelter to the migrant workers. We also request the learned Additional Advocate General to file a statement with respect to the steps taken by the State of Kerala to provide food and shelter to the migrant workers throughout the State of Kerala."
Kerala High Court

The Court was told that the Government has already taken steps in this regard, including adequate provision for recreation. All the same, the Bench has asked for a comprehensive report to be placed before it before April 3, when the matter will be taken up next.

Read the order:

Kerala HC order - Migrant Workers - COVID-19 Lockdown.pdf
Preview

On Sunday, hundreds of migrant workers violated the lockdown and came out to protest in Paippad, Kottayam, alleging that they are not being given food. The protestors also told the authorities that they had heard of migrants being allowed to return home in other places, and demanded that they be allowed to do the same.

The crowd was dispersed after police officials and district administration assured them that food would be provided, and informed them that it would not be possible to allow their movement out of the State for now. Later, two persons were reportedly arrested by the State on allegations that they were part of a conspiracy to instigate the protest.

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