Migrant lawyer moves Supreme Court seeking help to transport migrant workers back to UP; offers to provide Rs 25 lakh for travel costs
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Migrant lawyer moves Supreme Court seeking help to transport migrant workers back to UP; offers to provide Rs 25 lakh for travel costs

Debayan Roy

A Mumbai-based lawyer who migrated to the city from Uttar Pradesh has moved the Supreme Court seeking directions for transporting migrants in Mumbai to their hometown in Uttar Pradesh.

Advocate Sagheer Ahmed Khan, who has moved the Apex Court through Advocate-on-Record Ejaz Maqbool, has also stated in his plea that he would contribute a sum of Rupees 25 lakh "towards the cost of travel of the migrants belonging to districts Basti and Sant Kabir Nagar irrespective of their caste creed and religion."

Khan, who himself hails from Sant Kabir Nagar, states that he first tried to help the migrants by approaching the Government of India and the State of Maharashtra. When they "failed to address the plight of life and death of the migrants", this plea was moved before the Supreme Court.

The plea states that migrant workers in Mumbai who have no source of livelihood due to the lockdown are constrained to leave Mumbai and are forced to travel to their hometowns in inhuman conditions. It states,

"While some migrant workers are undertaking the journey on foot, the others are resorting to truck journeys where at least 100-120 persons are traveling in one truck."

Substantiating the point, the plea states that once special trains were announced for migrants, there was a requirement of doctor's certificate so as to rule out the possibility of contracting COVID-19 from any passenger in the train.

However, due to the lockdown, most of the city doctors have shut shop, and migrants were left moving "helter-skelter" searching for clinics to obtain certificates.

Citing how Advocate Khan was abreast of the living conditions of the migrants, the plea notes that the petitioner had himself lived with other migrants in a furniture shop in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region from the year 1999 to 2001.

Khan states that he is well aware about the condition in which the migrants live in the city of Mumbai.

"The Migrants in Mumbai who do not live with their families, eat their meal in local eateries which are known as ‘Bhissis’, which provide food at a cheap rate."

The petitioner has thus urged the Court to direct the Union of India and the State of Maharashtra to ensure immediate and safe evacuation of migrant workers to their hometowns, free from any technicality and under the supervision of the Apex Court.

Khan has also prayed for the government to advertise and make all attempts to disseminate all relevant information concerning such evacuation facilities to the lowest strata of the society, and to arrange a suitable train from Mumbai to Sant Kabir Nagar in UP.

Read Petition

Sagheer Ahmed Khan v UOI - Petition.pdf
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