Migrant workers didn't die due to non-supply of water, food: Centre to SC

New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that no deaths of migrant labourers have taken place due to non-supply of water, food and medicine and such incidents took place due to pre-existing illness.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that the entire country was working 'in tandem' and a lot of submissions made in the court was unrelated to truth on the ground.

'No deaths have taken place due to non-supply of water, food or medicine. All are due to existing illness,' the Solicitor General told a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, which reserved its order on the suo-motu (on its own) case relating to plight of migrant workers. The bench observed that it would give 15 days to the Centre and state governments for sending all desirous migrant workers to their native places.

The statement by the solicitor general assumes significance in view of the allegations that many people had died on-board Shramik Special trains which were deployed to ferry migrant workers back home.

The law officer urged the court not to issue new norms on 'quarantine for asymptomatic patients' and focus on the issue of transportation of workers.

At least nine passengers were reported dead on May 27 over a span of 48 hours on-board the migrant trains and the Railways had said that all of them had underlying health conditions.

The Railways have been running Shramik Special trains on a daily basis since May 1 to ensure that stranded migrant workers can travel back to their homes. PTI SJK ABA MNL RKS ABH RKS RKS TIR TIR