News By/Courtesy: Akanksha Dash | 18 May 2020 6:09am IST


  • The Court referred to this as human crisis.
  • Said States need to help the workers on humanitarian grounds
  • Asked details regard measures and data within a week

In a Habeas Corpus Writ Petition filed to get 400 detainees from Maharashtra back to Tamil Nadu, the court took Suo moto action and impleaded the State of Tamil Nadu and Union of India as respondents to enquire about the arrangements made for the migrant workers.
The court decided to take this step as despite steps been taken by the government for every section of the society, the migrant workers and agricultural workforce as neglected and they are suffering maximum. The court states that it “would like to know whether coordinated efforts have been taken by all the State Governments in consultation with the Central Government to address the sufferings of the migrant laborers.” Thus notice has been served made returnable by next week.
The court states that “one cannot control his/her tears after seeing the pathetic condition of migrant laborers shown in the media for the past one month.” And that this is a human tragedy.
Sympathizing with the migrant workers the court expressed remorse over the Karmad incident where 16 many workers were crushed to death by a train. They said “…they started migrating to their native states on foot. Unfortunately, those persons were neglected by all the authorities. The heartbreaking stories are reported in the print as well as visual media that millions of workers were compelled to start walking to their native States with their little children carrying all their belongings over their head, surviving on the food provided by good Samaritans, as no steps were taken by the Governments to help those migrant workers. It is also reported that some people starved to death due to hunger.”
The lack of coordination between the state was criticized. The court stated that the duty to make sure these workers are safe is not only with the native State. It is also the duty of the States where they are working to make sure that they are taken care of. “India is a welfare State and Article 21 of the Constitution of India is paramount and safety and security and supply of food are important. This Court is well aware that Covid-19 is not only a national crisis but also an international crisis……The Government authorities of all the States should have extended their human services to those migrant laborers.”
The court stated that the toll gates should have been used to make sure the laborers receive food, shelter, and medical assistance. “….very pathetic to note that neither the native States nor the States through which they were walking all along took care of them and failed to provide even the basic amenities”
The court sought first, relevant data of migrant laborers in all States to be collected. The host state will be held accountable for their safety and wellbeing, “for which all the states are expected to act in unison, rendering assistance to those poorer sections.”
Further, a total of 12 questions have been asked to the State and Central government about the maintenance of data regarding the number of such stranded labors and the once who lost their lives, and measures that have been taken to help and rehabilitate them.
The matter has been listed for hearing on 22nd May 2020.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 18 May 2020 9:25am IST

Tags : labour, migrant, train, covid

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