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The Supreme Court today directed the Centre and states to comply with its June 9 order to send the Migrants home within a period of 15 days.

A three judge bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MR Shah was hearing suo motu case titled “Re: Problems and  miseries of migrant labourers”, pertaining to the plight of migrant workers and the problems and miseries faced by them amid COVID 19 lockdown.

During the course of today’s hearing Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayan began his submissions on the application filed by him. He submitted that the Government of India on June 10 had released a list of trains for migrants, the fares of which shall be paid by the migrant workers. The application was filed through AOR Mithu Jain and Advocate Arnav Vidyarthi.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he did not receive a copy of the application.

However, Sankaranarayan said that a copy of the application has been sent to the SG even on mail.

SG not very pleased with Sankarnarayanan’s reply said, “Nice way of speaking. Snapping back like this.” He further said that Mr Sankarnarayanan must recall that the Government transported over 1000 migrants after it received the letter.

Sankarnayanan replying to SG’s remarks said, “Grateful for that but migrants do not have access to SG. Migrants are lying on stations. Shramik special trains have no details. I have been organising this everyday. We are on the ground. I am appearing for the NLU Alumni. There is only that much we can do.”

On being informed by Sankarnayanan that the states do not have fund to pay for the fares of the trains, the bench said that its order was Migrants will not pay, whether Centre pays or State pays. 

Meanwhile Senior Counsel concurring with Sankarnarayanan’s submissions said that the order passed by the Court has not been implemented in its letter and spirit. No assurance has been given to migrants that they will be put on trains. Moreover no advertisements in vernacular languages and no publicizing of the Courts orders by state governments for benefit of migrant workers were being made.

The bench directed SG Tushar Mehta to ensure that no migrant is asked to pay anything for travel & publicity is given to its orders. The court directed to file the compliance report and list the matter in July.

Read the order here;

11706-2020-35-301-22659-Order-19-Jun-2020

-India Legal Bureau

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