Centre's Apathy "Unpardonable": Supreme Court On Migrants' Issue

The central government has been asked by the Supreme Court to allocate additional food grains to states.

The states must bring in a scheme for distribution of dry ration to migrants, Supreme Court said.

Highlights

  • The top court had taken up this issue of relief to migrants on its own.
  • The court asked centre to allocate additional food grains to the states
  • States that have not implemented scheme were asked to do so by July 31
New Delhi:

All states must implement "One Nation, One Ration" scheme for migrant workers by July 31, the Supreme Court said today, underlining that the states must also "run community kitchens to feed the migrants till the end of the pandemic".

For registration of the migrant workers, the top court has told the central government to put in place a portal by July 31. A two-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah said, "The central government must develop and put in place a portal for registering unorganised and migrant workers, and start the process, not later than July 31."

"Lackadaisical attitude by the Ministry of Labour and Employment is unpardonable," the court said over the delay in putting up the data.

"The centre's delay in not putting up a portal on unorganised workers and migrants shows it is not alive to the concerns of migrant workers and it is strongly disapproved," it added. 

The central government has also been asked to allocate additional food grains to states.

The top court had taken up this issue of relief to migrants on its own.

The "One Nation, One Ration" scheme allows all eligible ration card holders or beneficiaries - covered under the NFSA (National Food Security Act) - to access their entitlements from anywhere in the country.

The states must bring in a scheme for distribution of dry ration to migrants, the Supreme Court said today.

"States that have not implemented the scheme must do the same before July 31," the two-judge bench said in a stern reminder.

Earlier on May 24, the top court had termed "very slow" the process of registration of unorganised workers and had directed authorities to provide dry ration and make operational community kitchens for migrant workers stranded throughout the country.

Last year, when India announced one of the world's strictest lockdowns to check the spread of coronavirus, many migrants were left without jobs and means to survive. Many of them left big cities to head to their villages on foot. Distressing visuals and their plight had caught the nation's attention.