Maharashtra and Delhi Governments were pulled up by the Supreme Court for not informing the condition of migrant workers in the two States amid the outbreak of global pandemic (COVID-19).

The Court held the States accountable for not filing affidavits containing the details about what they have done for the welfare of migrant workers, including the schemes and programs initiated for them, and the number of such workers residing in the two states. Although other states have filed their replies, the NCT (National Capital Territory) of Maharashtra and Delhi had failed to comply with the Court’s orders.

“The failure in the filing of affidavits specifies that both the Governments of Maharashtra and Delhi are not concerned in implementing SC orders,” stated a three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah.

A time period of 2 weeks was given by the Court to both the States to file the affidavits. Thus, a request to grant more time was pleaded by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and a senior lawyer Sanjay Jain.

The SC said, “The States have the highest number of migrants working and residing in contrast to other States.”

In an order dated 9th June, the SC had issued varied directions and apprised the Center as well as the States to send home the stranded migrant workers within 15 days of time.

The Apex Court had passed directions to provide free food to the workers on their way home, in addition, not to change railway and bus fares, notifying the States in order in May.

Lakhs of stranded workers started walking hundreds of kilometres towards their home from the cities despite the directions given by the Court after the closure of conveyance amid the crisis. After immense hardships, the Center triumphantly ran special ‘Shramik trains’ for the migrant workers.

Reported by – Gayatri Vipul Lachke

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