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Congress moves Supreme Court on plight of migrant labourers


New Delhi, May 27: Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking to intervene in the matter in which it has taken cognisance of the "unfortunate and miserable" plight of migrant labourers who have been stranded across the country due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Surjewala, an official spokesperson of the Congress party, has said he wants to apprise the top court of "certain pertinent measures" that may be considered by the Centre in order to alleviate the plight of migrant labourers who are stranded or travelling long distances with great difficulty due to the lockdown.

"Further, due to failure of the Government of India to formulate any joint committee with the opposition political parties for addressing issues of stranded migrant labourers, the Government of India has been unable to consider the measures suggested by the applicant (Surjewala) and the opposition party or any member of Parliament not belonging to the ruling dispensation," said the plea, settled by senior advocate A M Singhvi.

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    Surjewala, in his plea filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, has suggested that the Centre immediately set up reception and facilitation centres at district and village level for receiving labourers and facilitating further travel to their native districts or villages.

    A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had Tuesday taken suo motu (on it own) cognisance of the plight of migrant labourers stranded across the country and had said that they need "succour and help by the concerned governments" with regard to free food and shelter.

    The top court had issued notices to the Centre, states and Union Territories and sought their replies by May 28 on the issue.

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