New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre and states to identify migrant workers and facilitate their returning to native villages within 15 days from today. It also asked authorities to consider withdrawal of complaints against migrants for alleged violation of lockdown norms. 

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah also directed also directed the Centre to provide additional trains for transportation of migrant workers within 24 hours of states making demand.

The apex court also asked Centre and states to formulate scheme for providing employment to migrant workers which are left with no job and money in the aftermath of lockdown, which brought the country's economy to a virtual standstill.

The bench also directed the authorities to identify and register migrant workers who want to go back to their native places and conclude the exercise, including their transportation within 15 days from Tuesday

The bench, which posted the matter for further hearing in July, said the schemes for welfare and employment of migrant workers should be publicised adequately.

The top court had on June 5 reserved its order on the suo motu case registered on the plights of migrant workers during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown period. 

On June 5, the Supreme Court had reserved judgment on the issue of migrant workers including their registration and employment opportunities and had said that it intended to give 15 days to the Centre and states for transporting all stranded migrant workers to their native places.

The Centre has said it has done its "best" and that till June 3, over 4,200 'Shramik Special' trains have been deployed to transport migrant workers to their native places.

It had said till now, over one crore stranded migrant workers across the country have been sent to their destinations and most of the trains have ended up in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The Centre had said that the state governments can inform as to how many more migrant workers need to be shifted and how many trains are required for that purpose.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, had assured the court that trains required are being made available to the concerned states and they would be provided in the future as well, when demands are raised.

The law officer had said the Indian Railways has run 802 trains for transportation of workers from Maharashtra to various places in the country and moreover, if a state puts in a request for trains, then they are being provided within a day.

The counsel for states, including Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, West Bengal and Kerala, had given data with regard to migrant workers.

"Out of 22 lakhs, 2.5 lakhs migrant workers are remaining," counsel for Gujarat had said.

The counsel for Delhi had said that now, less than 10,000 such people wanted to go back.

Counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government had said that over 100 special trains were used for transporting people back to the state from various parts of the country.

The Bihar government had said that 28 lakh migrant workers have returned to the state and the government has been taking steps for providing them employment.

The Kerala government had said that out of 4.34 lakh migrant workers, over 1 lakh have been transported so far. And 1.61 lakh wanted to remain in the state leaving 1.2 lakh such people who are yet to be sent back.

On May 28, the top court had directed that the migrant workers wanting to return to their home states will not be charged train or bus fares and those stranded across the country will be provided food free of cost by the authorities concerned. 

On May 28, the top court had directed that the migrant workers wanting to return to their home states will not be charged train or bus fares and those stranded across the country will be provided food free of cost by the authorities concerned. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta