New Delhi, April 6: The Supreme Court on Friday overruled the Centre’s objections to taking up a public interest litigation on the plight of unorganised labourers who fled the cities, and issued notice on the plea that the government pay their wages as employers may not be able to do so during the lockdown.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea filed by activists Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj, saying that such “PIL shops” must be closed down. “Genuine persons are helping people on the ground. Sitting in AC rooms and filing PILs doesn’t help,” Mehta said.
The court shrugged off the objections, saying that it was “particularly concerned” about the “plight” of migrant workers . The government will have to respond to the petition by April 7, a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta said, as reported by The Economic Times.
The petition, argued by lawyer Prashant Bhushan on behalf of Mander, termed the exodus of migrants from cities to the hinterlands as a humanitarian crisis of a huge magnitude, and termed the steps taken to deal with it as inadequate.
Though the government has asked all employers to pay wages to their employees and landlords not to charge them rent for this period, these measures are impractical, the petition claimed.