Provide facilities for migrants as per SC ensure steps to control virus spread: HC to Aurangabad administration

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Updated on Apr 06, 2020 05:32 PM IST
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ByK A Y Dodhiya, Mumbai

Taking cognisance of the plight of 50-60 labourers who despite having been accommodated at a zilla parishad school are not getting proper facilities, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) has directed the Aurangabad administration to take the help of voluntary organisations to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court (SC) on the issue of migrants. These labourers were sheltered in the school after they were stopped by the police when they were walking to their homes in Madhya Pradesh from various areas in Aurangabad.

The court also directed the administration to investigate a message on social media that some foreigners were receiving treatment for Covid-19 in a private clinic and ensure that proper measures are initiated to avoid spread of the virus in the city.

After news reports on the plight of the labourers sheltered at the school came to light, the bench of justice Prasanna Varale took up suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) to address the issue. While referring to the news reports, the court observed that though the mirgrants had been provided with food, the administration was not following the guidelines directed by the SC and the central government, and hence the authorities should rope in voluntary organisations for providing proper facilities to the labourers.

The bench also admonished the Aurangabad municipal corporation for not taking cognisance of the message on social media which stated that some foreign nationals were receiving treatment for the Covid-19 virus in a private clinic. The court directed the authorities to investigate the message and if it was found to be true to take measures to contain the spread of the virus in the city.

Referring to a report of health workers being pelted with stones in Indore, the bench directed the administrators to apply the provisions of the National Security Act if such an incident were to take place in Aurangabad. The bench however, added that to avoid imposing the stringent National Security Act, the administration should rope in reputed organisations and individuals to create awareness among the masses and avert a repeat of the Indore incident.

The PIL was then posted for further hearing on Wednesday for which the administration, police and corporation were asked to make statements about their respective actions and measures initiated by them to contain the spread of the virus. The bench also appointed advocate Amol Joshi as amicus curiae to get first-hand information on the condition of the labourers and file a petition thereafter.

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