Migrants won’t be charged for travel either by train or buses orders SC
New Delhi, May 28: The Supreme Court has said that it is concerned with the miseries and difficulties of migrants trying to get to their native places.
There are several lapses that we have noticed in the process of registration, transportation and providing food and water to the migrants, the Bench also said. A large number of migrants are forced to proceed to their native places on foot, the court observed.
In its order, the Supreme Court said that the migrant cannot be charged for travel by train or buses. The states must take the burden of travel fares. Stranded migrants will be given food and water by the states where they are, the court also said.
The originating states shall give meals and water at the station/terminal, while the Railways will provide meals and water during the journey. The states shall oversee the registration of the migrant workers who should be sent home as early as possible the court also ruled.
The migrant workers who want to travel back to their states should not be stopped. When a migrant worker wishes to go to a state, the state cannot refuse, the SC also ruled.
All those who are walking on foot must be given food and shelter immediately. The Railways will provide trains without delay after the states ask for it. The court also asked the Centre and the states to submit detailed reports by next Friday.
Certain unfortunate incidents relating to migrants were telecast or reported to shadow the good work done by the governments, the Centre had had earlier said.
It was further stated that the Centre and the States have done a lot to control the COVID-19 situation and help the migrant workers.
The SC asked the Centre to clarify if food and shelter would be provided for migrants. Can there be a mechanism to let a migrant now when he or she will get a transport instead of waiting indefinitely without any information.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the Supreme Court should wait for reports from the states. He also said that he has complaints too about the prophets of doom who only spread negativity and do not have either courtesy to the nation or the patriotism to acknowledge what is being done. Those who come before this court, should establish their credentials. They earn in crores. Have they spent a single penny. People are feeling people on the streets but has any one of these critiques also come out of their air-conditioned drawing rooms to help, Mehta asked.
Senior advocate, Kapil Sibal told the court that under the national plan, guidelines for minimum standard of relief for food, water, shelter are to be made. Where is the national plan? Why all the responsibilities have been shifted to the states without prescribing a national plan. Why are the trains running at 3 per cent capacity, Sibal further sought to know.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had on Tuesday taken suo motu 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.