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    Cannot monitor nor stop the movement of migrant workers on the roads: Courts

    The Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation relating to migrant laborers who had walked from their cities to their homes amid lockdown. During the hearing on Friday, the Supreme Court said that how can we keep an eye on whether someone walks on the road or not? Let the state governments decide on the facilities of the laborers and the arrangement to take them home.

    The Supreme Court said that it is impossible for the courts to monitor or stop the movement of migrant workers in the country and the government will have to take necessary action in this regard. The Center told the apex court that the government is providing transport facility to these migrant workers across the country to reach their destination but they have to wait for their turn instead of walking on foot during the Kovid-19 epidemic. Let us tell you that in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, 16 laborers died in a rail accident a few days ago. This petition was filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, based on this and some other issues.

    A bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice BR Gavai refused to consider the application filed to direct all the district magistrates to identify the trapped workers on the way and provide food and accommodation for them. During the hearing of the case through video conferencing, the bench sought to know from the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Center, whether there is any way to prevent these workers from walking on the streets.

    Mehta said that the states are providing interstate bus service to these workers, but if people start walking on foot instead of waiting for their turn for transport facility, then nothing can be done. Mehta said that the agreement between the state governments would give every person an opportunity to travel to his destination. Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who has filed a petition in this case, recently drew back the attention of the incidents of workers being killed in road accidents on highways in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

    The bench asked, “How can we stop it?” The bench said that states should take appropriate action in this matter. The bench said that it is not willing to consider the application. He also remarked that it is impossible for the courts to monitor the persons walking on the streets. Srivastava filed this application in a public interest litigation filed in connection with the hardships of migrant workers, soon after the incident of 16 workers being crushed by a freight train on the railway line near Aurangabad.


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