Migrant Workers exodus due to COVID19 lockdown
Migrant Workers exodus due to COVID19 lockdown
Litigation News

Ready to provide necessary trains for migrant workers as and when request is received from any State Government: Railways tells Delhi HC

The Court directed Delhi Government to ensure uninterrupted working of their helpline number and availability of Nodal Officers to assist migrant workers who wished to return.

Aditi Singh

Railways has informed Delhi High Court that as and when a request is received from any State Government, necessary trains would be provided for transporting migrant workers who wished to return to their native places. (National Campaign Committee for Eradication pf Bonded Labour vs GNCTD& Ors)

The statement was made before a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.

The Court was hearing a petition by National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour.

The Petitioner had sought the registration and repatriation of certain migrant workers. It was Petitioner's grievance that the official website meant for registration of migrant workers for transit to their respective native places, as well as the helpline numbers provided in this regard, were not properly working.

The Petitioner suggested that there was a need for appointment of Nodal Officers in each district of Delhi for the same.

In response to the Petition, the Central Government submitted that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding movement of stranded migrant workers had already been issued by it.

It was added that detailed instructions, including procedure for appointment of Nodal Officers, had been issued to all the States including Delhi.

The Delhi Government submitted that Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Government of NCT of Delhi had been appointed as State Nodal Officer and all the District Magistrates in Delhi were the Nodal Officers of their respective districts.

It was further submitted that their names and contact details were available on the website of the Delhi Government as well as at all the relief centres where the stranded migrant workers were staying.

The Central Government asserted that they were already looking into the difficulties which were being faced by the public at large and all possible actions were being taken to send the migrant workers to their native places.

It thus decided to accept the registration of the workers whose names were annexed in the petition.

If they find any difficulty, they may contact their respective Nodal Officers, the Central Government said.

The Railways submitted that more than 800 trains had already departed to take around 10 lakh migrant workers to their native places.

As and when such request will be received from any State, they are ready to provide the necessary trains, Railways said.

In view of the submissions made by the parties, the Court recorded that once a worker approaches the Nodal Officer, all care would be taken by the Delhi Government for his/her migration in accordance with law and the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Central Government.

So far as restoration of helpline number and availability of Nodal Officers was concerned, the Court ordered,

".. we direct the respondent No.1 (Delhi Government) to ensure the uninterrupted working of their helpline number so that people may approach the Nodal Officers through the helpline numbers. The very purpose of helpline number is to help the people and, therefore, the same must be functional..We also expect from respondent No.1 that the Nodal Officers shall remain easily available to the migrant workers so that after the online registration, the follow up action in accordance with the SOP for their movement to native places be taken."
Delhi High Court

The petition was accordingly disposed of.

Advocate Anupradha Singh appeared for the Petitioner.

Advocate Rishikesh represented GNCTD.

Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia with Advocate Abhigyan Siddhant appeared for Centre.

Railways was represented by Standing Counsel Jagjit Singh.

Read the Order:

National Campaign Committee for Eradication pf Bonded Labour vs GNCTD& Ors.pdf
Preview
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com