Supreme Court Allows Mumbai Lawyer to Pay Rs 25 Lakh to Families of 5 Migrants who Died While Travelling During Lockdown

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A division bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice M.R. Shah presided over the matter of Sagheer Ahmed Khan v. Union of India & Ors.

Brief Facts of the Case

The petitioner hails from Sant Kabir Nagar (earlier called District Basti). He is currently an advocate residing at Mumbai. The petitioner is practising before the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Bombay. Also, he is practising before the Supreme Court. The migrant workers from the same district contacted the petitioner. They stated that they need help with returning back home from Mumbai. The petitioner decided to help the workers. He tried booking transport, but his efforts were in vain due to bureaucratic hurdles.

The petitioner had approached the Nodal Officer. This was the officer appointed by the State of Uttar Pradesh for ensuring the safe return of the migrants from Mumbai. His emails, as well as phone calls, were unanswered. The petitioner further states that there is no concerned government authority which could be moved for the reliefs sought for by the petitioner. The only efficacious remedy lies before this Court under Article 32 of Constitution.

The Petitioner is a citizen of India and has no personal gain or private motive in filing the Petition. It is except for his conscience which is not allowing him to let the poor migrants remain in the lurch. And, as such he has offered to pay up to Rs. 25,00,000/- (Rupees Twenty-Five Lakh Only). It is the cost of travel for the migrants belonging to their districts. The same will be irrespective of any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion etc.

Arguments before the Court

By the time the issue came up in Court, most of the families had returned back to their home. The petitioner requested the Court to direct the 25,00,000/- (Rupees Twenty-Five Lakh Only) for the families of the migrant workers who died while travelling back towards their native place during the crisis.

Court’s Order

The Justice Bhushan-led Bench allowed the said prayer. And has now directed the petitioner to submit the names of the migrants whose families would receive the said amount.

“The details of all the five families be provided to the registry within two weeks. SC registry will then send the money to the Legal Service Authority of the district. That is which will be disbursed to the families.”


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