29 Jun 2021 5:26 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that all states must implement the "one nation, one ration card" scheme - which enables migrant workers to avail ration benefits from any part of the country - by July 31.The Supreme Court also passed a slew of other directions for the benefit and welfare of migrant workers.The following are the directions :(i) It is directed that the Central Government...
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that all states must implement the "one nation, one ration card" scheme - which enables migrant workers to avail ration benefits from any part of the country - by July 31.
The Supreme Court also passed a slew of other directions for the benefit and welfare of migrant workers.
The following are the directions :
(i) It is directed that the Central Government to develop the Portal in consultation with National Informatics Centre (NIC) for registration of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers. We also impress upon 76 and direct that the Central Government as well as the respective States and the Union Territories to complete the process of Portal for registration under National Data Base for Unorganised Workers (NDUW Project) as well as implement the same, which by all means may commence not later than 31.07.2021. We also impress upon and direct that the process of registration of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers is completed at the earliest, but not later than 31.12.2021. All the concerned States/Union Territories and the Licence Holders/Contractors and others to cooperate with the Central Government to complete the process of registration of migrant workers and unorganized labourers so that the benefits of the welfare schemes declared by the Central Government/State Governments/ Union Territories be available to migrant workers and unorganized labourers for whose benefits the welfare schemes are declared.
(ii) The Central Government having undertaken to distribute additional quantity of foodgrains as demanded by the States/Union Territories for distribution to migrant labourers under some Scheme framed by the States, we direct the Central Government, Department of Food and Public Distribution (Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) to allocate and distribute foodgrains as per demand of additional food-grains from the States for disbursement of dry foodgrains to migrant labourers.
(iii) We direct the States to bring in place an appropriate scheme for distribution of dry ration to migrant labourers for which it shall be open for States to ask for allocation of additional foodgrains from the Central Government, which, as directed above, shall provide the additional foodgrains to the State. The State shall consider and bring an 78 appropriate Scheme, which may be implemented on or before 31.07.2021. Such scheme may be continued and operated till the current pandemic (Covid-19) continues.
(iv) The States, who have not yet implemented "One Nation One Ration Card" scheme are directed to implement the same by not later than 31.07.2021.
(v) The Central Government may undertake exercise under Section 9 of the National Food Security Act, 2013 to re-determine the total number of persons to be covered under the Rural and Urban areas of the State.
(vi) We direct all the States/Union Territories to register all establishments and license all contractors under the Act, 1979 and ensure that statutory duty imposed on the contractors to give particulars of migrant workers is fully complied with.
(vii) The State/Union Territories are directed to run community kitchens at prominent places where 79 large number of migrant labourers are found for feeding those migrant labourers who does not have sufficient means to procure two meals a day. The running of the community kitchen should be continued at-least till pandemic (Covid-19) continues.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah passed the order in the suo moto case 'In Re Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers'. With the above directions, the bench disposed of the suo moto case. Full copy of the order is awaited.
On March 24, the bench had ordered that States and Union Territories should provide dry ration and run community kitchens for migrant labourers who are stranded due to the COVID pandemic and the lockdown. The bench had also directed the Centre and the States to complete the registration of migrants and unorganized workers in the common national data base so that they can avail of the various statutory welfare schemes.
The suo moto case, which was taken by the Supreme Court in May 2020 to deal with the problems of migrant workers during the national lockdown, was listed again for consideration in May this year during the second wave of the pandemic.
Case: Re: Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers [SMWP(C) 6/2020]
Coram: Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah
Citation: LL 2021 SC 274
Click here to Read/Download Order