The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted a Mumbai based lawyer's request to pay Rs. 25 lakhs towards the travel of migrant workers and directed him to do so in a week.
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah directed advocate Sagheer Ahmed to deposit the amount with the Supreme Court Registry, in the name of the Secretary General after he offered to pay rail expenses for migrant workers from Mumbai to the district of Sant Kabir Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Appearing via video conferencing today, the petitioner apprised the Bench of his bona fide concern for migrant workers.
Upon being asked why he didn't just give the money to the PM CARES fund, the Petitioner stated his reservation in doing so and preferred that his money be used for the rail fare to send migrants home.
"If you want, then you may pay the amount in the Registry of this Court", said Justice Bhushan, accepting his offer to specifically assist in the travel of migrant workers to their native place in UP.
"The petitioner is willing to deposit Rs 25 lakh with the Registry. This amount can be utilised for these migrant labourers, who wish to go homs to UP", observed Justice Bhushan.
The matter has now been listed on June 12 for further hearing.
During the previous hearing in this matter, on May 15, the Apex Court had asked the Centre along with the UP and Maharashtra file their responses.
Ahmed's plea specifically sought directions to the Government ensuring the safe transport of migrant workers from Mumbai to their respective hometowns during the COVID-19 induced lockdown. In this light, the Top Court had asked the concerned States for a report on the measures taken by them towards this end.
The lawyer had offered to contribute Rs. 25 lakh towards the cost of rail travel of migrants belonging to Basti and Sant Kabir Nagar Districts irrespective of caste, creed or religion.