COVID-19| SC leaves issue of payment of minimum basic wages to migrant workers to Centre

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, SK Kaul and BR Gavai, JJ has refused to direct Central Government and the State Governments to ensure payments of wages/minimum wages to all the migrant workers. It, however, asked the Government to take necessary steps in order to resolve the issues relating to migrant workers.

The Court was hearing the petition seeking direction to the Central Government and the State Government to jointly and severally ensure payments of wages/minimum wages to all the migrant workers within a week. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Harsh Mander, had argued that despite governmental measures, thousands of laborers still lack access to basic amenities. He, further, argued that studies conducted by NGOs indicated that there are several areas where the aid is not reaching to the migrant workers.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on the other hand, filed a status report and submitted that various measures are in place to address the issues concerning the migrant
workers. He further argued that helpline number has been provided to report issues concerning the implementation at the ground level, and that whenever any complaint is received, the authorities are attempting to address the same immediately.

Satisfied with the Government’s response, the Court disposed of the petition with the direction to the Government to take such steps as it finds fit to resolve the issues raised in the petition.

[Harsh Mander v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine SC 376 , order dated 21.04.2020]

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