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“How Can Anyone Stop This (Deaths) When They Sleep On Railway Tracks?” SC On Migrants Mowed Down By Train

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an application filled by Alakh Alok Srivasatva highlighting the Aurangabad rail incident where 16 migrants were towed down by an empty goods train while they were sleeping on the railway tracks, on May 8.

A three-judge bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice BR Gavai while rejecting the application observed that “it was not possible for the court to monitor who is walking and who is not walking.”

The bench further remarked “how can anybody stop this when they sleep on railway tracks?”

Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul  after having read the application submitted by the petitioner said  “every advocate reads incidents in the newspaper and become knowledgeable about every subject. Your knowledge is totally based on newspaper clippings and then under 32 you want this court to decide. Let the state decide. Why should this court decide or hear your application?”

Justice Kaul further commenting on the personal choice of the migrants walking on foot while they were being provided services to travel back home, asked the petitioner whether he was willing to go and implement government directives if the the Court grants him special pass.

The bench further asked Solicitor GenerlaTushar Mehta whether there was any way to stop the migrants from walking on the road.

The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that “states are providing interstate transport. But if people get angry and start on foot instead of waiting for the transport to be provided nothing can be done. We can only request that people should not walk. Using force to stop them would be counterproductive.”

-India Legal Bureau

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