The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to dispose a plea filed by the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), seeking relief for migrant workers availing special trains and buses in Maharashtra to reach their homes in other states, as the Supreme Court is set to hear petitions pertaining to stranded workers on July 17. It said a order will be passed next month subject to SC’s decision.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai was hearing a plea filed through senior counsel Gayatri Singh and advocates Kranti L C and Ronita Bhattacharya Bector.
Maintaining that it had got in touch with several migrant workers, CITU submitted that nearly 56,000 workers are still stranded in Maharashtra and want to return to their homes in different states. Most of those stranded belong to West Bengal, it added.
Expressing displeasure over the handling of migrant workers’ issue in West Bengal, Chief Justice Datta said: “Situation there (West Bengal) was not handled properly.” The court, however, added that it does not want to say anything against anyone.
In view of the pleas pending before SC, the Chief Justice said, “We do not consider it appropriate to pass any order at this stage for facilitating movement of alleged stranded migrant workers to West Bengal as prayed by the petitioners.”
“In our view, it would only be just and appropriate not to dispose of the petition at this stage and to await further orders that might be passed by the Supreme Court in respect of migrant workers,” the court added. It will hear the plea next in the first week of August.
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