Supreme Court orders government to ensure free ration to sex workers
22 September 2020: A division bench of Justices LN Rao and Hemant Gupta has ordered the state governments to ensure that sex workers get rations even if they do not possess ration cards. Hearing a petition filed by Durbar Mahila Samanvaya Committee the bench asked the Central government to exercise its powers under the National Disaster Management Act to provide immediate relief to sex workers who were in severe distress due the lockdown and social distancing norms.
Madras High Court issues notice to Centre and State government over poor treatment of Safai Karmcharis
22 September 2020: A division bench of Justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha issued notices to the Central government and Tamil Nadu government over poor treatment of sanitation workers and asked them to file a detailed report regarding providing minimum wages, risk allowances and basic amenities including housing facilities to Safai workers in local bodies. Data collected by the National Commission for Safai Karmchari has revealed that since 2017 one sanitation worker has died every five days in India while cleaning sewers or septic tanks.
Supreme Court asks government to devise plans to spend construction workers’ cess fund for welfare of other workers
11 September 2020: A three-judge bench comprising of the Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian while hearing a petition filed by the Madhya Pradesh government seeking permission to withdraw Rs.1,000 crores from the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare fund for expenditure in other areas asked the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) as to why the funds may not be used for the welfare of other workers during the pandemic. The court further advised the government to issue an Ordinance to this effect. The Madhya Pradesh government seeks to withdraw the money as its revenue has dipped due to the pandemic and assured the bench that it would repay the money with interest to the Welfare Board.