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Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2020

‘Impossible to Monitor’ Movement of Migrant Workers: Supreme Court

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nigrtsNEW DELHI : “It is impossible for this court to monitor who is walking and not walking”, said the Supreme Court, while dismissing a petition seeking direction to the Centre to provide migrants food, transportation and shelter.
Dismissing a petition that asked that the centre be ordered to provide food and water to migrants on the move, the Supreme Court said today: “It is impossible for this court to monitor who is walking and not walking.”
The Centre told the top court that migrant workers across the country were being provided transportation by the government to their destinations, but they have to wait for their turn rather than starting on foot amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao refused to entertain an application seeking a direction to the Centre to ask all district magistrates to identify stranded migrant workers and provide shelter and food to them before ensuring their free transportation home in view of the recent incident at Aurangabad in which 16 workers were mowed down by a goods train.
The Top Court also said sternly: “Let the state decide. Why should the court hear or decide?” The petition filed by lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava urged that the court ask the centre to identify migrants walking on the roads and provide them food and shelter.

The lawyer had also referred to a recent incident in Maharastra, where 16 migrants sleeping on railway tracks were run over by a cargo train. It is for the states to decide, said the Supreme Court. “There are people walking and not stopping. How can we stop it?” the judges said.
On the train accident, the court said: “How can anyone stop this when they sleep on railway tracks?” The court berated the advocate, saying his petition was “totally based” on newspaper clippings. A child sleeps on a suitcase as his mother pulls it on a highway in Agra in Uttar Pradesh
“Every advocate read incidents in the paper and become knowledgeable about every subject. Your knowledge is totally based on newspaper clippings and then you want this court to decide. Let the state decide. Why should this court decide or hear? We will give you special pass. Can you go and implement government orders?” the court said, dismissing the petition.
(With Agency Inputs).

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