#SupremeCourt hearing of the suo motu matter on #MigrantWorkers commences.

Sr adv Kapil Sibal, Indira Jaising, Sanjay Parikh, Anand Grover and Colin Gonsalves appear for Medha Patkar and as intervenes in the matter.

SG Tushar Mehta represents the Central Govt.
Indira Jaising and Colin Gonsalves press for certain directions today itself, citing 'urgency' of the matter.

#SupremeCourt asks them not to speak simultaneously. "If all of you speak at the same time, we won't understand anything."

SG: We are immensely grateful that this court has taken cognisance. Centre and states are willing to show all steps taken. Some isolated incidents have taken place but they are shown repeatedly. We have filed a preliminary report on steps taken.

Court: No doubt the governments have taken steps but those persons are not getting the benefits from the state governments.

SG Tushar Mehta explains how and why the movement of #MigrantWorkers was allowed after two phases of the #lockdown.
At an average of 3.36 lakh migrants per day, a total of 91 lakh #MigrantWorkers have been moved to their home states by trains and road between May 1 and May 27, SG submits in the court.
#SupremeCourt seeks a clarity on who is paying for the train journeys.

SG: Originating state or receiving state & in some cases, fares are reimbursed.

Tushar Mehta is now explaining how #MigrantWorkers travel through train, who provides meals etc.
Either the originating state or the receiving state just pay for the train fares but migrants won't be charges, SG Tushar Mehta tells #SupremeCourt.

He adds #Bihar and #UttarPradesh account for more than 80% of the migrants.

Tushar Mehta gives example of #UttarPradesh where #MigrantWorkers are given Rs 1000 after the quarantine period.

"This has worked well. People quarantine voluntarily and during this period their food, water, medics needs are taken care of by states," he adds.
Bench tells the SG the problem is about #MigrantWorkers made to wait for week even after their register and thus their food.

As SG submits they cannot compromise with the essential goods train, #SupremeCourt asks why can't everyone be given food at a time when FCI has surplus.
SC: "With food surpluses available with FCI, why should there be a food shortage? We accept it's not possible to transport everyone at the same time but food & shelter must be given till they can get transport."

Some concrete steps need to be taken, given the number of migrants, #SupremeCourt tells Centre

Food and shelter must be ensure for them: SC.

SG Tushar Mehta says a lot has been done but estimates will have to come from states. He adds anxiety & instigation compounded the issue.
SG: #MigrantWorkers are given 5kg grains and 1 Kg pulses.

#SupremeCourt: They have already started walking, they are on road, where is the food grain?

SG: They aren't on road. Whenever a state finds them, they are given shelter & transport.
#SupremeCourt seeks to know from Centre if there is a mechanism to let a #MigrantWorker know how long it will take for him to get a transport. "A week or 10 days, how does one know?"

SG Tushar Mehta replies this information will have to come from the states.

#SupremeCourt seeks clarity from SG on:

* A policy that a state can't reject migrants from entering

* Who pays the fare and its knowledge to a migrant that he or she doesn't have to pay for it nor can he be exploited by a middleman
* Mechanism to let a migrant know when he or she will get a transport instead of waiting indefinitely without any information

* Food and shelter till they go back

#SupremeCourt emphasises these aspects must be clarified.


SG Tushar Mehta says #SupremeCourt should wait for reports from states to get a clear picture.

He adds he has complaints too about 'prophets of doom' who only spread negativity & don't have either the courtesy to the nation or the patriotism to acknowledge what's being done.
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