SC's keeps hands off to whatever Centre decides

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/7/2020 11:53:53 PM

NEW DELHI, Apr 7: Hailing whatsoever steps the Centre took to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with its actions in sheltering lakhs of migrant workers in the relief camps, saying that it can’t supplant the wisdom of the government with its own wisdom.
Stressing that they are no experts in handling matters relating to health and management, a 3-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde said the Court won't interfere with government’s decisions for the next 10 to 15 days, since "we do not plan to supplant the wisdom of the government with our wisdom."
The observation of the Bench, which included Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Deepak Gupta, came on the status report submitted by the Centre said that in 578 districts across the country 26476 active relief camps and shelters – run both by the government and the NGOs - were housing 10,37,026 people. Besides this, there are 17,321 food camps feeding 84, 26,509 people every day. Coupled with this are another 15,05,107 people being sheltered and given food by the industry they are working in.
As counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for social activist Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj urged the court that migrant workers sheltered in relief camps be given some wages, the CJI Bobde asked, “If they are being provided meals then why do they need money for meals?”
Bhushan: “Our survey report says more than 40% of these workers did not try to migrate and are living in their own homes in the cities. They do not have money to buy even one day's meal.”
Urging the Court that the migrant workers being kept in the relief camps be allowed to go their homes, Bhushan pointed out that more than 4 lakh migrant workers were living in shelter homes in close proximity, thereby making mockery of social distancing.
“If they're kept in the shelter homes and even if one person has Coronavirus, they will all get it. They should be allowed to go back to their own homes”, Bhushan pleaded.
Telling him that there was dispute on the “facts and on the best course to be adopted,” CJI Bobde asked: “How can you say the government is not doing anything when you have not seen the status report of the government?”
Ordering release of the status report submitted by the government only Tuesday morning to Bhushan to study, CJI Bobde adjourned the hearing and posted the matter for April 13 for further hearing.



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