New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday asked a Mumbai-based advocate to deposit Rs 25 lakh, which he offered for ferrying migrant workers from Mumbai to Uttar Pradesh amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with its registry.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.R. Shah asked advocate Sagheer Ahmed Khan to deposit the money with the registry within a week under the name of the secretary general.
During the hearing, Khan contended that his concern for the migrant workers is genuine, and he is willing to deposit Rs 25 lakh, which could be used for making arrangements for their travel to their native places in Uttar Pradesh. He added that this amount can be used as train fare from Mumbai to Basti and Sant Kabir Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
The petitioner had expressed his apprehension in depositing the amount with the PM-CARES Fund or the state government’s relief fund. He had moved the apex court seeking a direction to use the amount specifically for the travel of the migrant workers from Mumbai to Uttar Pradesh.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on June 12.
Khan had moved the plea through advocate-on-record Ejaz Maqbool. The petitioner said that he is well conversant with the plight of the migrants who are left to fend for themselves amid this national crisis. He sought direction from the apex court to ensure immediate and safe evacuation of migrant workers to their hometowns, free from any technicality and under its supervision.
Khan, who is a native of Sant Kabir Nagar, contended in the plea that he first tried to help the migrants by approaching the Centre and the Maharashtra government. He moved the apex court only after the authorities concerned failed to address the plight of the migrants.
“The petitioner is approaching this court seeking to exercise its jurisdiction vested in it under Article 32 of the Constitution to save the lives of the migrants who are caught between the inactions of the respondents (Centre and state government),” read the plea.
The petitioner argued that he moved the top court, as the migrant workers in Mumbai, who have no source of livelihood due to the lockdown, were constrained to leave Mumbai and were forced to travel to their hometowns in inhuman conditions.
“While some migrant workers are undertaking the journey on foot, the others are resorting to truck journeys where at least 100-120 persons are traveling in one truck. It is submitted that while some migrant workers are dying of exhaustion and starvation, others are suffocating while undertaking this tedious journey,” the plea read.