The Supreme Court has taken suo moto case on the basis of a letter sent by Mahua Moitra, Member of Parliament, to the CJI highlighting the plight of migrant workers amid the lockdown imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta is considering the case tomorrow. Moitra has said that she will be appearing in person in the case.
My letter-petition to the Supreme Court of India concerning welfare of migrant workers due to #COVID19 lockdown listed to be heard on 3/4/20I will be appearing as Petitioner in Person. pic.twitter.com/fy1s0BopRa— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) April 1, 2020
My letter-petition to the Supreme Court of India concerning welfare of migrant workers due to #COVID19 lockdown listed to be heard on 3/4/20I will be appearing as Petitioner in Person. pic.twitter.com/fy1s0BopRa
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.