Delhi High Court has directed both the Central and the Delhi Government to submit affidavits disclosing the data relating to migrant workers, set as available with them as of 1st June, 2020.
The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has asked both the governments to place on record the procedure currently being followed for contractors or employers to register migrant workers as also what are the procedures being followed for ensuring compliance.
The order has come in a PIL filed by Mr Shashank S Mangal seeking a writ of mandamus to be issued to both the Centre and the Delhi Government to ensure that the machinery for the enforcement and implementation of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 is put in place in the Union Territory of Delhi.
The Petitioner also demanded for both of these governments to frame Rules under Section 35 of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 for operationalization of the Act in Delhi.
While issuing notices to both the Centre and the Delhi Government, the court has asked the Labour Department of both the governments to submit status reports in respect of the following:
These affidavits are supposed to be filed on or before June 25.
Appearing for the Delhi Government, Mr Ramesh Singh submitted that insofar as the Registering Officers, Licensing Officers, Appellate Officers and Inspectors are concerned, the same have been appointed by the Government of NCT of Delhi.
Mr Singh also submitted that the Rules under this Act have been notified.
While emphasising upon the importance of the matter, the court highlighted that:
'The recent crisis which the country has witnessed with respect to migrant workmen shows that for the effective enforcement and implementation of the Act, there is an immediate need for proper data to be always available so as to ensure that steps can be taken in a timely and adequate manner, especially in times of a pandemic such as COVID-19 or in any other form of emergent situation.'
The court further observed that in order to have a proper, streamlined regulation of migrant workmen and their conditions of service, the first and the foremost significant measure would be the collection of the actual data and the integration of the same between the Central Government and the State Governments.
The court further said:
'For the said purpose, the said Governments would have to consider as to whether there should be a centralized portal for registration of migrant workmen by the contractors who engage them or the employers who employ them. Mechanisms and tools also ought to be made available so that employers and contractors do not find the same burdensome and that they can submit the data without glitches.'
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