Delhi High Court orders transport department to release relief money within 10 days
30 May 2020: A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad has ordered the transport department to release assistance package of Rs 5,000 each into bank accounts of the eligible non-chip public service vehicle (PSV) badge holder drivers of auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws and Gramin sewa, who have not yet received the amount within 10 days. Court pulled up the government for its laxity in transferring the assistance amount which was announced in early April and hasn’t been disbursed yet.
Supreme Court finally takes cognizance of migrant workers plight raps government for aggravating the crisis
28 May 2020: After the death of over 80 migrant workers and several on road wanting to walk back home Supreme Court finally took cognizance of the matter and pulled up the Centre for its inaction in the matter. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MR Shah has directed the Central and State governments to ensure that migrant workers forced to live in shelter homes are provided free food and those wanting to return home are provided transport free of cost. It has directed the government to ensure that migrants who are traveling in buses or trains be provided meals by the states from where the bus or train originates and thereafter the cost of food be borne by railways.
Bombay High Court orders municipal body to pay COVID allowance to contract workers
27 May 2020: Hearing a petition filed by Samaj Samata Kamgaar Sena, a union of 6,277 contract workers employed with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Justice S J Kathawalla upheld the principle of Equal Pay for Equal Work and ordered civic body to arrange for hand gloves, sanitisers and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for contract workers at par with permanent workers employed by municipal corporation. He further ordered that all workers must be paid the daily COVID allowance of Rs.300. The petitioners have also sought extension of the health insurance scheme as announced by Government of India to all frontline workers, the matter will be heard next on 12 June 2020.
Madras High Court stays transfer of safai karmchari who was transferred for demanding PPE
27 May 2020: Madras High Court has granted interim stay on transfer of K Balu, a 55 year old Safai Karmchari employed by the Ramanathpuram Municipality. The court found that Balu’s transfer orders were issued with the intent to punish him for leading a successful protest of Safai Karmcharis demanding boots, gloves and overalls on 28 April 2020. The transfer would demand Balu to report to work 6 hours away from his place of residence which was not possible during the lockdown and clearly showed the malafide intent of the administration.
Andhra Pradesh High Court orders government to seize premises of LG Polymers
25 May 2020: A division bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered the state government to seize the premises of LG Polymers at Visakhapatnam where a gas leak 7 May 2020 killed 7 people and injured over 500 others in the villages surrounding the factory.
The court has further directed the government not to allow the directors of the company to leave the country without the court’s permission and barred entry on the factory premises except for those who are part of the committee appointed to probe the matter. The probe has found that LG Polymers was operating without a valid environmental clearance, the inhibitor concentration which controls runaway reactions in the storage tank was not checked and the refrigeration system was not working properly.
Supreme Court stays Odisha HC order directing mandatory testing for migrant workers before entering state
8 May 2020: A Supreme Court bench of Justices Ashok Bhusan, SK Kaul and BR Gavai have stayed the order passed by Odisha High Court stating that migrant workers will be allowed to board trains to return to the state only if they test negative for COVID-19 observing that the order places an unreasonable pre-condition for migrant workers who wish to travel back to their homes.