Bombay High Court Asks the State to Submit Report on Shelter Provided and Arrangements Made for Migrants

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The Bombay HC on 29.05.2020 administered the State Govt. to submit a report of the procedure a migrant would have to follow.  These include their eligibility, boarding time for a train or bus, nature of shelter given to them, etc. Furthermore, they should also include other arrangements made for their sustenance.

About the PIL

The Centre of Indian Trade Union filed the PIL. The issue raised in the PIL is for the concern over the State of migrant workers. These include those who have already submitted applications. The applications concern them leaving the State through Shramik Special Trains and Buses. The petitioners claimed these migrants were unaware of the status of their application. Meanwhile, they have had to stay in cramped and unhygienic shelters. They are not even given proper food and other essentials.

Anil Singh, Addn. Solicitor General appeared on behalf of the Union of India. He submitted that the Supreme Court is already dealing with the issue of migrant workers.

The Court took note of this but said it would still need the state government to file a report by June 2. The Court passed a detailed order on May 28, 2020, for taking care of the State of migrant workers.

Court’s Observation

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice KK Tated heard the PIL.

On observation of the order dated 28.05.2020, the bench noted that the SC issued the directives to all States. These included speeding up the registration process of the migrants and simplifying it. Also, to provide the stranded migrant workers with the help desk. It directed all the State Governments to file their responses. The Suo Motu Writ Petition is due and scheduled next on June 5, 2020.

Decision of the Court

“At this stage, neither are we empowered, nor do we wish to make any order contrary to the spirit of the order of the SC. But, having regard to the peculiar local conditions, it is fit and proper to call upon the State to file a report. Report indicating therein the plight of migrant workers. Also, how migrant workers have been assembling at the railways’ stations. Buses stand in Mumbai and places around it, are being addressed.”

The bench also referred to photos in the news of worker’s gatherings on railways & streets. The Court also said that. “Such a gathering if allowed, would run contrary to the object of imposing the lockdown.”

The bench asked the State to file the said report by June 2 2020.


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