We take suo motu cognizance of problems and miseries of migrant labourers who had been stranded in different parts of the country. The newspaper reports and the media reports have been continuously showing the unfortuanate and miserable conditions of migrant labourers walking on-foot and cycles from long distances. They have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or in the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on-foot, cycles or other modes of transport. In the present situation of lockdown in the entire country, this section of the society needs succor and help by the concerned Governments especially steps need to be taken by the Government of India, State Governments/Union Territories in this difficult situation to extend helping hand to these migrant labourers.
This Court has also received several letters and representations from different sections of society highlighting the problem of migrant labourers. The crises of migrant labourers is even continuing today with large sections still stranded on roads, highways, railway stations and State borders. The adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provided by the Centre and State Governments free of costs.
Although the Government of India and the State Governments have taken measures yet there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation. We, thus, issue notice to the Union of India and all States / Union Territories to submit their responses looking into the urgency of the matter. We direct the suo motu petition to be taken up day-after-tomorrow and we request the learned Solicitor General to assist the Court and by the next date of hearing bring in the notice of the Court all measures and steps taken by the Government of India and to be taken in this regard.
List the matter day-after-tomorrow.
The Registry is directed to serve a copy of this order to the learned Solicitor General as well as the States / Union Territories through their standing counsel today itself so that appropriate responses be brought before the Court at the earliest.