In the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Supreme Court decided to hear a suo motu plea today, taking into consideration the “issues and sorrows of migrant labourers.”
The two-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah had previously stated that if labourers desire to return home, the Centre and State Authorities should assist them with transportation and guarantee that they are not billed an outrageous cost.
The Court also ordered the central government or the state governments to set up a public kitchen and see that no migrant worker goes hungry.
The Bench also slammed state governments, asking, “Why the decision of June 9, 2020, was not followed by the state governments?” We’re not going to make that plea infructuous. We published migrant worker directives in June last year, that had to be followed.
All of these orders occurred during the trial of an urgent plea filed in the Suo Moto case of 2020 by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj, and Jagdeep Chhokar, demanding instructions to guarantee that migrant and stranded labourers do not lose their rations and food security.
Despite the fact that governments have been more careful in enforcing decentralized Covid-19 curfews and lockdowns this year, the petitioners claim that “they have supplied minimal social help to working and middle classes and migrants, whose incomes are at sea once again.”