The Delhi Government has informed the Delhi High Court on Friday that it is taking all the necessary steps with care for the migration of labourers to their native places in accordance with the law and in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Union of India by its letter dated 29th April, 2020.
The Court noted that the Delhi Government is ready and willing to accept the registration of the workers who want to migrate and whose name given in the memo of the writ petition. As and when these workers will approach the concerned Nodal Officer, all care will be taken by it for their migration.
“so far as the restoration of helpline number is concerned, we direct the Delhi Government to ensure the uninterrupted working of their helpline number so that people may approach the Nodal Officer through the helpline numbers. The very purpose of the helpline number is to help the people and therefore, the same must be functional,” said the division bench led by the Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar.
The Court was also informed by Counsel appearing for the Ministry of Railways that as and when request will be received from any State, they are ready to provide the necessary trains. He further submitted that more than 800 trains have already departed, taking around 10 lac migrant workers to their native places.
The Court was hearing the public interest litigation through video conferencing, which raised grievances related to the official website of the Government meant for registration of migrant workers for transit to their native place and the helpline numbers provided in this regard, which were not working properly and also the need of appointment of Nodal officers in each district of Delhi for the same.
Learned Counsel appearing for the Centre submitted that it had issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding the movement of stranded migrant workers. The detailed instruction have been issued to all states including Delhi.
Learned Counsel for GNCTD informed the Court that Mr. P.K. Gupta, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Government of NCT of Delhi has been appointed as State Nodal Officers and all the District Magistrate in Delhi are the Nodal Officers of their respective districts. Their name and contact details have been given on the website of the Government of Delhi. Moreover, at all the relief Centres where the migrant workers are staying, the names of Nodal Officers and contact details have been displayed.
The Delhi Government informed the court that they are accepting the registration of all these migrant workers and if they find any difficulty, they may contact their respective Nodal Officers.
In view of the submissions made the Delhi Government the Delhi High Court directed that the Nodal officers shall remain easily available to the migrant workers so that after the online registration the follow up action in accordance with the SOP for their movement to the native place be taken.
The Delhi Government further submitted, “they have no objection regarding any prayer in the writ Petitions. On the contrary, they are looking into the difficulties which are being faced by the public at large and all possible actions are being taken by them to send the migrant workers to their native places.”
The Courts direction came on a PIL filed by “National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour” seeking directions to the Government to register and repatriate the migrant workers and to appoint nodal officers in each district who would facilitate the registration process.
“The Delhi Government should be directed to publish the names and phone numbers of all the nodal officers mentioned above in the leading newspapers, television channels and official Govt Website. Also, to provide adequate food and ration facilities until ne essay arrangements are made to send the stranded migrant workers back home,” stated in the plea.
Read the full order here;64248-2020
-India Legal Bureau