Drop cases against migrant workers: SC to states, centre

The Supreme Court ordered the central and state governments on Tuesday to drop all cases and prosecution initiated against migrant workers fleeing cities to reach their native places during lockdown and register and facilitate their return home in the next 15 days so that the issue of providing them ration, food and jobs can be addressed in the next phase.

A three-judge bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the Centre, states and Union Territories to identify those migrants who want to return to their states and send them back by bus or train in 15 days.

The railways will provide Shramik trains within 24 hours of any state seeking their services, the bench said. These will be in addition to the 171 Shramik trains that will run as per state requests so far.

The court said a substantial number of stranded workers have already been transported back to their states by the railways and state governments. But there are still some stranded migrants in Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, it said, asking all states to complete the job in the next 15 days.

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