The Supreme Court on Tuesday passed a slew of directions to state governments and Union Territories to provide benefits for migrant workers, who returned to their native states and directed the governments to submit schemes to generate employment for the migrants and also to withdraw cases against them for violating lockdown orders.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M. R. Shah said that employment generation should be explored by the home state of the migrant workers’, besides facilitating their journey to their native places, if they are interested. The top court also ordered the withdrawal of complaints against migrant workers’ who set off on foot. The bench said that all cases registered against migrants’ who allegedly violated lockdown orders, under the Disaster Management Act 2005, should be dropped.
All migrant workers’ should be sent back home within 15 days from Tuesday, and they should be identified through registration in their home states, added the bench. The top court has asked the states and the UTs to submit their response by July 8. The bench added that the authorities concerned should map the employment relief provided to the migrant workers’ and the Centre and states should adopt a streamlined process to identify migrant labourers.
The ruling from the bench came on the problems and difficulties faced by the migrant workers’ in the backdrop of nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. The top court had taken suo moto cognizance of the matter. The top court also directed the states and the UTs to set up counselling centres to disseminate information on job and benefits schemes.
The top court said the authorities concerned should gather information on the details of workers’, which include the nature of their past employment, and also the counselling centres to help them to go back to their place of employment.