The Bombay High Court refuses to pass directions facilitating the movement of migrant workers. The migrant workers are to move from the State of Maharashtra to West Bengal. This is due to the pendency of the suo moto case on the migrant’s issue before the SC.
Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai were hearing a PIL. Centre for Indian Trade Unions and others file PIL. They stated the mob of migrants workers in the State. They are left in strands. Furthermore, they were living in unhygienic conditions during this pandemic.
The bench refers to the Supreme Court’s order dated July 9. The top court expresses displeasure over the State’s decision. The decision was to file an affidavit in a suo moto case regarding the mob of migrant workers. The court observed:
“On a reading thereof, it appears that the order is specific to the State of Maharashtra. The Hon’ble Supreme Court expressed its displeasure at the State’s reluctance to find out whether there are migrant labourers, stranded in Maharashtra, who are willing to leave for their hometown.” The Supreme Court has sought the State’s response in a detailed affidavit.
Issues & Arguments
Senior Advocate Gayatri appears on behalf of the petitioners. She submits that the contention about no demand for Shramik trains is incorrect. Moreover, the Union has got in touch with many migrant workers. Union learnt that there are almost 56,000 labourers. Moreover, they still wish to travel back to their native place. Many of these labourers are from West Bengal, Singh said.
The Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court retorted-
“Do you know the situation in West Bengal? The state government at one point did not permit migrants to return home, we do not want to say anything against anyone, but the situation was not handled properly.” Furthermore, the last train that left for West Bengal did not have too many migrants on board. This was submitted by Advocate General AA Kumbhakoni The next hearing is in the first week of August.
The bench took into consideration the submissions of the Advocate General. The submission includes that the last time a train left for West Bengal did not have too many migrants on board.
“We do not consider it appropriate to pass any order at this stage for facilitating the movement of alleged stranded migrant labourers to West Bengal, as prayed for by Ms Singh, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the petitioners. In our view, it would only be appropriate not to dispose of the PIL Petition at this stage and to await further orders that might be passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in respect of migrant labours”, the bench ordered.
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