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Delhi HC directs Delhi Govt to frame scheme for home-based, self-employed, unorganised workers facing issues in Covid-19 pandemic

The petition before the High Court has been filed by Abhijeet Kumar Pandey through Advocates Varun Singh, Ytharth Kumar and Abhijeet Pandey.

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ILNS: The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to frame a scheme incorporating a structured response for the ‘home-based worker’, ‘self-employed worker’ and ‘unorganised worker’, as defined under The Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, within two weeks. 

A two-judge bench of Justices Manmohan and Asha Memon has said, while framing the scheme, the Chief Secretary shall keep in mind the prayers sought for in the present writ petition, including the prayer for payment of ex gratia amount to the unorganised workers and the migrant workers. 

The Court further directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that the registration process under Section 10 of The Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 is simplified and is implemented at the ground level.

The order also entails to weigh out the feasibility of involving the elected representatives of civil society particularly certain NGOs, Gurudwaras etcetra.

“Since the pandemic is of gigantic magnitude, this Court directs the Chief Secretary to consider the feasibility of involving the elected representatives as well as the civil society at large in particular NGOs, Gurudwaras etc. who have a good track record and who have been working with the administration in the past,” said the Court. 

The Court directed the Delhi Govt to file its status report within two weeks and list the matter for further hearing on May 20.

The Delhi High Court passed its directions on a plea seeking directions to the Respondents to register all migrant workers of Delhi under Section 10 of The Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 and to provide free medicines and medical facilities to the migrant workers.

The Court remarked, “In view of the scale and magnitude of pandemic Covid-19, a structured response by the administration is required so that the voiceless and the marginalised sections of the society can be given proper and adequate relief.”

The petition sought to obligate the respondents to duly discharge their liabilities relying on the Directive Principles of the State Policy of the Indian Constitution by virtue of which the respondents are required to shield the working class under Article 43 of the Constitution; followed by the contention of the petition that in accordance to the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, the respondents ought to complete their obligation to pay monies under the income transfer scheme to all migrant workers of NCT of Delhi. 

The counsel for the petitioner articulately mentioned that in lieu of the Disaster Management Act 2005, various Central and State Funds have been created consequently which may be used by the respondents to ensure proper recourse to safeguard the interests of the migrant workers. 

It said, “As per the vide order dated 20.04.21 of Government of NCT Delhi which related to the workers under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, no compliance has been made on the said order till date, subsequently, there is no stratagem to provide benefit to the workers under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008, in addendum there is no database to locate and identify the migrant workers in NCT Delhi which is vociferously saddening and exposing the negligent behaviour of the respondents with respect to these tough times. The present petition would outright help such class of people in a great way in such a catastrophic situation.”

Read Also: Fighting Covid-19: The case for vaccine passports

The petition before the High Court has been filed by Abhijeet Kumar Pandey through Advocates Varun Singh, Ytharth Kumar and Abhijeet Pandey. 

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