The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice in the suo moto case taken on the basis of a letter sent to Chief Justice of India by Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra highlighting the plight of migrant workers stranded amid the lockdown.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta directed that the copy of the petition to be served on the Solicitor General.
The matter will be next taken on April 7.
In the letter, the TMC MP from Krishnanagar (WB) stated that she has personally received over 300 requests of help from stranded migrant workers belonging to her area from far away places in Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Delhi, Gurgaon etc. She has annexed some of the messages along with the letter.
"These poor workers, some of them employed at construction sites and others in factories, are thousands of kilometres away from their homes and live in extreme penury", she said in the letter.
"Given the loss of life involved and the terrible hardships being faced by these poor workers, I beseech your lordships to urgently take up the matter and issue appropriate direction to the Government of India and private employers", she urged the SC judges.
She has prayed for directions to the executive agencies to make arrangements for the stranded workers, as well as for the employers to release wages to these workers, along with food ration and shelter during this period.
"My lords, these workers are the poorest of the poor and they subsist on daily wages. Unless a serious and immediate intervention is made by the executive agencies, thousands will perish from starvation and lakhs will be put to the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 virus", Moitra said in the letter.
On March 31, a bench lead by CJI Bobde had issued a slew of directions in another PIL for the welfare of migrant workers.