Supreme Court of India on Friday said that it was in a mind to stipulate a period of 15 days for central and state governments to ensure that all migrant labourers are back home. Supreme Court was hearing a PIL filed to highlight the issues of migrant labourers that emerged in the immediate aftermath of the announcement of coronavirus lockdown.
Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices SK Paul, MR Shah and Ashok Bhushan heard the PIL.
“What we intend to do is we will give you and the states 15 days’ time to transport all migrants. All states will bring on record how they will provide employment and other kind of relief. There should be registration of the migrants,” the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
The Solicitor General told the Supreme Court that that about 1 crore migrant workers had been brought back home by about 4200 runs of trains.
Most of the Shramik Special Trains had their destinations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as large chunk of migrant labourers comes from these two states.
A representative of the Uttar Pradesh Government was present in Supreme Court as well.
"At no point of time did the state charge the migrant labourers. Obligation of states is two-fold. We have to send those migrants back who were in UP as well. 104 special trains were organized to send back 1.35 lakh people," said advocate PS Narasimha, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government.
Migrant labourers across the country had to suffer a lot as national lockdown was imposed on March 25 this year. The total lockdown, imposed due to coronavirus pandemic caused stoppage of public transport as a result of which lakhs or migrant workers were stranded away from their homes. Cessation of economic activities meant that these labourers had hard time earning livelihood.
Supreme Court has reserved its decision for June 9.