Send Migrants Home Within 15 Days, Drop Cases: Supreme Court To States

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 Supreme Court To States

New Delhi:

Migrant workers should be identified and sent to their hometowns within 15 days, the Supreme Court asked states today, adding that all cases registered against migrants who have allegedly violated coronavirus lockdown orders should be considered for withdrawal.

The top court also asked the centre and states to prepare a list for the identification of migrant workers in a streamlined manner. States and union territories were directed by the court to formulate a scheme for providing employment to migrant workers and collect data for giving them jobs after mapping their skills.

A three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah issued the directions days after passing a series of directions, asking state governments not to charge migrant labourers for their train or bus journeys and asked states to arrange for their food and water.

The top court said the Railways must provide additional special trains within 24 hours of states making the demand for sending the migrant workers back to their home states.

In the last hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the centre, said the railways has run 4,228 special "Shramik" trains till June 3 and taken 57 lakh people home. He said 41 lakh others have gone home by road, taking the total migrants who have left the cities to nearly one crore. Mr Mehta also told the Supreme Court that there have been no deaths due to non-supply of water, food or medicine on board the "Shramik" trains, rather due to existing illness.

The top court today directed all states to submit affidavits on schemes for migrants and their job creation by July 8 when it will take up the case next.

The special "Shramik" trains were started on May 1 by the centre to take migrants stranded by the coronavirus lockdown to their home states.

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