Supreme Court: The bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has slated for April 13 hearing on a public interest litigation seeking immediate direction for the payment of basic minimum wages to migrant workers, adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
During the hearing through videoconferencing, the bench said that it received the affidavit filed by the Central government this morning and slated the hearing for April 13.
The petition was filed by social activists Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj through senior advocate Prashant Bhushan. The Court asked the Bhushan to go through the affidavit in the meantime.
Bhushan told the court that more than four lakh migrant workers are living in shelter homes and are making a mockery of social distancing.
“If they’re kept in the shelter homes, even if one person has coronavirus they will all get infected,”
Adding that many people will die by Monday, Bhushan said,
“They should be allowed to go back to their own homes. Families need money for survival because they are dependant on the wages,”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the Central government is on the top of this situation and that it is looking into the complaints received. A call center had also been set up to address and resolve issues, he added. Mehta said that the Ministry of Home Affairs is monitoring the helpline daily.
The PIL sought an immediate direction to the Central government for payment of basic minimum wages to migrant workers and said that the lockdown, imposed in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country, discriminated among the citizens.
Last week, the bench of L. Negeswara Rao and Deepak Gupta, JJ had issued a notice to the Central government on a petition seeking immediate direction for the payment of basic minimum wages to migrant workers, adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.