On May 28, 2020 while hearing the Suo Moto Writ Petition, initiated by the court’s motion on the migrant crisis, the apex court has directed all the state governments to provide free food, shelter and basic necessities and ordered that no fare should be collected by any state from the migrants, while transporting them in any train or bus.
Taking a serious note of the miseries of the migrant workers across the nation, a bench of justices, comprising Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah, has passed a slew of interim directions as follows:
“1. No fare either by train or by bus shall be charged from any migrant workers. The railway fare shall be shared by the States and in no case any fare should be asked or charged from any migrant workers by the States and the Railways.
2. The migrant workers who are stranded at different places in the country shall be provided food free of cost by the concerned States/Union Territories at different places which shall be publicized and notified to them during the period they are waiting for their turn to board the train or bus.
3. The State shall take care of providing necessities water and meal during the period of transportation either in the bus or in the camps on the way.
4. State shall simplify and speed up the process of registration of migrant workers and also provide help desk for registration at the places where they are stranded.
5. The State shall try to endeavour that after registration the workers should be asked to board the train or bus at the earliest and complete information should be publicized to all the concerned regarding mode of transport.
6. The migrant workers who are found walking on the highways or roads shall be immediately taken care by the concerned State/Union Territories and they shall be provided the transport to the destination and all facilities including food and water be provided to those found walking on the road.
7. The receiving State, after the migrant workers reach his native place, shall provide transport, health screening and other facilities free of cost.” (Pages 9-10)
Upon yesterday’s interim directions, the court has given all the states, UTs and the Union Government to file their reports within a week and listed the matter on June 5, 2020. To this the court has observed that,
“Let affidavit be filed by the concerned State Governments and the Central Government within a week. List the matter on 05.06.2020.”