March 30, 2020.
By Sharvari Lohakare.
On Monday, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to file an affidavit to issue steps taken to alleviate the predicament of migrant workers from cities amid the nationwide Coronavirus lockdown.
Today the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao heard the petition filed by Alakh Alok Srivastava via video conferencing and directed the Centre to issue a course of action. The Court fixed the date of next hearing on Tuesday, March 31.
The PIL had sought immediate relief to the miserable condition of stranded migrant workers and their families after a nationwide lockdown of three weeks was announced on 25th March.
On Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Court that the Centre as well as the states are taking various steps to curb the situation. He insisted that he would file an affidavit on behalf of the Centre to issue guidelines in this regard.
Petitioner Alakh Alok Srivastava argued that there was lack of cooperation between the Central Government and the state governments in dealing with the crisis.
CJI Bobde stated that the Court does not wish to interfere into the matters which the government is already taking steps on, and that he would like to take a look at the government’s affidavit of the guidelines issued first.
On Sunday, the Central government had issued directions to state governments to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways, taking into account the mass movement of migrant workers followed by the national lockdown.
The petition was filed on Saturday highlighting the plight of migrant workers and their families as it became difficult to make ends meet for the entire unorganized sector after the country came to a standstill for a three week long lockdown during the Coronavirus crisis.