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SC's important decision in favor of migrant laborers, said- make ration cards available in 3 months under any circu

Pankaj Prasad
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked states and union territories to provide ration cards to migrant laborers registered on the government portal within three months so that they can avail benefits under the National Food Security Act.

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked states and union territories to provide ration cards to migrant laborers registered on the government portal within three months so that they can avail benefits under the National Food Security Act. A bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah said that wide publicity should be given to give ration cards to registered migrant laborers on the portal.

The bench said in its order, 'We give 3 months time to the concerned states and union territories to issue the missing ration cards and register the migrants on the portal. The concerned officers should inform the collectors so that they can avail maximum benefits under NFSA. The next hearing in the case will be on October 3, 2024.

The apex court's order came on an application filed by petitioners Anjali Bhardwaj, Harsh Mander and Jagdeep Chhokkar, who demanded that ration be given to migrant laborers in addition to the quota of ration under NFSA. The apex court had on April 17 said that the central and state governments cannot deny ration cards to migrant workers merely on the ground that the population ratio under the NFSA is not properly maintained.

The Supreme Court said that every citizen should be benefited from welfare schemes and said that in a welfare state, it is the duty of the government to reach out to the people. In February this year, the top court had sought information from the Center and all state governments on the number of migrant workers who have received ration under the NFSA and who have been benefited under other government schemes. The apex court was told by the government that out of about 38 crore migrant workers, about 28 crore workers across the country have been registered on e-Shram, an online portal run by the Centre.

The Supreme Court had suo motu taken up a matter during the COVID-19 pandemic to consider the problems and miseries of migrant laborers and workers in the unorganized sector who were pushed to wretchedness by the pandemic-induced lockdown and Were forced to settle in their villages without any source of employment.