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Provide Dry Ration, Open Community Kitchens For Migrant Workers Stranded In NCR : Supreme Court Directs Delhi, UP, Haryana Govts

Radhika Roy
13 May 2021 11:30 AM GMT
Provide Dry Ration, Open Community Kitchens For Migrant Workers Stranded In NCR : Supreme Court Directs Delhi, UP, Haryana Govts
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The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Government and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide dry ration to migrant workers in National Capital Region. While providing dry ration the authorities of the States shall not insist on an identity card for those migrant labourers who do not possess for the time being and...

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The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Government and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to provide dry ration to migrant workers in National Capital Region.

While providing dry ration the authorities of the States shall not insist on an identity card for those migrant labourers who do not possess for the time being and on self-declaration made by the stranded migrant labourers dry ration be given to them.

Further, GNCTD, States of UP and Haryana have also been directed to set up community kithcens at well-advertised places in NCR for stranded migrant workers, as well as their families, and ensure that they are provided two meals a day.

The Court has also directed GNCTD, UP and Haryana Governments to ensure that adequate transport is provided to stranded migrant workers in NCR who wish to return to their homes.


A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah was hearing an Application that had been filed by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj and Jagdeep Chhokar in the suo moto case In Re: Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers, highlight the issues that were being faced by the migrant workers due to lockdowns being announced by various States in wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Applicants were represented by Advocate Prashant Bhushan

The following interim directions were given by the Court:

(1) Dry ration to migrant workers in National Capital Region under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme or any other scheme be provided by the Union of India, NCT of Delhi, State of U.P. and State of Haryana utilising the Public Distribution System prevalent in each State with effect from May, 2021. While providing dry ration the authorities of the States shall not insist on an identity card for those migrant labourers who do not possess for the time being and on self-declaration made by the stranded migrant labourers dry ration be given to them.

(2) NCT of Delhi, State of U.P. and State of Haryana (for the Districts included in the NCR) shall ensure that adequate transport is provided to stranded migrant labourers (in the National Capital Region) who want to return to their home. The District Administration in coordination with Police Administration may identify such stranded migrant labourers and facilitate their transport either by road transport or train. The Union of India may also issue necessary instructions to Ministry of Railways to take necessary and adequate measures to cater the need of migrant labourers.

(3) NCT of Delhi, State of U.P. and State of Haryana (for the Districts included in the NCR) shall open community kitchen at well-advertised places (in the National Capital Region) for stranded migrant labourers so that they and their family members who are stranded could get two meals a day.



Apart from the interim directions, the Court directed the Centre, State of NCT of Delhi, State of UP and State of Haryana (for the districts included in the NCR) to file a reply to the application, suggesting means and measures in order to alleviate the miseries of stranded migrant workers.

Notice has also been issued on the Application to States of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bihar to file their Reply giving the details of measures which they propose to take to ameliorate the miseries of migrant workers regarding transportation of stranded migrant workers and providing dry ration as well as cooked meals to them.

The Apex Court further referred to its Order dated 09.06.2020, wherein a slew of directions were passed for the relief of migrant workers who had returned to their native villages.

Later, In October 2020, the Court had directed States/UTs to file their responses to the directions within two weeks. Today, the Court noted that most of the States had not filed their responses, and therefore, as a last chance, granted 10 days' time to NCT of Delhi, States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra and Odisha to file their responses.

In today's hearing, the Supreme Court had expressed its concerns about the plight of the migrant workers and had stated that it would issue interim directions to ensure food security and cheaper transport options. The IA was opposed by the Centre, represented by Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta.  Full account of the hearing may be read here.

The matter will now be heard on 24th May.

Case Details

Case Title : In Re Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers

Coram : Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah

Citation : LL 2021 SC 256

Click here to read/download the order





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