- The court had told the states to file affidavits with details on migrants
- It allowed two weeks for the affidavits to be filed
- Court said maximum number of migrants are working in Maharashtra, Delhi
The Supreme Court today pulled up the Maharashtra and Delhi governments for not informing it of the condition of migrant workers in the two states amid the coronavirus crisis. The top court had told the two states to file affidavits containing details about what they have done for the welfare of migrant workers, schemes for them and the number of such workers living in the two states, among other measures.
"Non-filing of affidavits clearly indicates Maharashtra and Delhi are not interested in implementing Supreme Court's orders," a three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said.
The top court then gave two weeks to Delhi and Maharashtra to file the affidavits.
"By our order dated July 31, we had specifically directed the states to file an affidavit... Although various states have filed their reply, but Maharashtra and NCT (National Capital Territory) of Delhi have not filed their affidavits in compliance of our order," the Supreme Court said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior lawyer Sanjay Jain then asked for more time to file the affidavits.
"Maharashtra and Delhi are the states where the maximum number of migrants is working," the Supreme Court said, allowing two weeks for the affidavits to be filed.
In an order on June 9, the Supreme Court had issued several directions and told the centre and the states to send home stranded migrant workers within 15 days.
In May, the top court had passed directions including telling states not to charge railway or bus fare from migrant workers and to give them free food on their way home.
Lakhs of migrant workers started walking hundreds of kilometres home from the cities after public transport was shut down amid the coronavirus crisis. After reports of immense hardship, the centre eventually ran special "Shramik trains" for migrants.