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Provide free of cost transport, food and shelter to migrant workers: Supreme Court

SC has ordered the Centre and State governments to immediately provide transport, food and shelter to stranded migrant workers, free of cost. Taking suo motu cognisance of the migrant workers' issue, 3 judge bench of the SC said that there have been "inadequacies and certain lapses" from the Centre and State governments in dealing with the crisis.


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The Supreme Court has said that this section of the society needs succour and help from the governments, in this lockdown situation. The highest judicial authority of the country said that the Union, State and UTs governments need to take steps to extend helping hand to migrant labourers in this difficult situation.

The SC judges took the suo motu cognisance of media reports and appeals of senior lawyers for protection of fundamental rights of migrant workers. The SC said that the crisis is still continuing and a large section of migrant workers is still stranded on roads, highways, railway stations and state borders. The SC emphasized on the need of effective concentrated efforts to control the situation.

The bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan ordered the Centre and State governments to immediately provide "Adequate transport arrangement, food and shelter, free of cost. The written order noted that despite the steps taken by the Union and State governments, there have been inadequacies and certain lapses".

The SC also asked Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta to produce record of measures taken by the Centre so far to alleviate the migrants’ sufferings by May 28.

SC cited newspapers and other media reports, which are continuously showing the conditions of migrant labourers walking on foot and cycling for long distances. The SC stated that there have been complains of migrant workers not being provided with food and water.

Saying that the case was urgent, formal notice was issued to the Centre, the States and the Union Territories, asking them to file their responses by May 28.

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