New Delhi, June 11: The Supreme Court has reserved the decision on the matter of suo motu cognizance on behalf of the court on the case of migrant labourers. During the hearing, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked all the states to implement the scheme of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ so that migrant labourers can get ration.
The court directed the Central Government and all the states and the parties concerned to file their short note in the court within three days.
During the hearing, the court was told on behalf of the Government of Maharashtra and Punjab that they have implemented the scheme of One Nation One Ration Card.
During the hearing, when the counsel appearing for the West Bengal government said that the state government has not implemented this scheme due to the problem in linking with Aadhaar. Then the court said that no excuse will work on this, all the states should ensure to implement the One Nation One Ration Card scheme.
During the hearing, senior advocates Dushyant Dave and Colin Gonsalves said that the migrant labourers who have not been registered are not getting their benefits. The condition of workers is worse this year than last year.
On this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said on behalf of the Central Government that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana has been extended till November and the number of migrant labourers has been ascertained.
During the hearing, ASG Aishwarya Bhati said that eight lakh metric tonnes of grains have been given. Their distribution is left to the state governments. Then the court asked where the central government’s data base is. Are you developing software for this? Tell me your project and module. Why is it taking months?
On May 13, expressing concern over the condition of the migrant labourers, the court had directed the Central, Delhi, UP and Haryana governments to give ration material even if the migrant labourers do not have identity cards. The court had said that the labourers, who want to return to the village from the cities of NCR, should be given facilities by road or rail.
The court had directed that community kitchens should be started in NCR, in which arrangements should be made to provide food twice.
During the hearing, lawyer Prashant Bhushan had said that after the second wave of corona, due to curfew and lockdown in Delhi, UP, Haryana and the entire NCR area, the migrant labourers faced livelihood crisis and they started going to their hometown fearing that the lockdown would increase. Private bus owners are charging a lot of money from them to go to their hometowns. Bus owners are charging four to five times more amount from migrant labourers.
Prashant Bhushan had said that last year arrangements were made to provide ration to migrant labourers under the Self-Reliant India Scheme and the Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Yojana.
He demanded that all state governments should also provide ration to those migrant workers whose names were left out in the Food Security Act or the Public Distribution System. He demanded that in the hour of such crisis, those who do not have an identity card, they should also be given ration.