Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court, on 27 April, issued notices to the state government and sought its response on migrant workers who are stranded in the state. It asked the state government if it was ready to send these migrant workers to their native places like Chattisgarh by arranging necessary transport facilities during the lockdown.

A division Bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy wondered why the state government cannot coordinate with the neighbouring states and permit the migrant worker to travel.

The division Bench passed these orders while dealing with a PIL filed by a city advocate P.V Krishnaiah. His petition had named the Union government, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the state Chief Secretary, the principal secretaries of medical, health and family welfare department, and the Home department, and DGP of the state as respondents.

The advocate told the High Court that migrant workers and their families, including small children, were trying to reach their homes on foot. They were walking hundreds of kilometers in the hot summer season. He told the HC that they might lose their lives during this journey.

During the course of the arguments, he told the HC that allowing them to undertake such risks would be depriving them of their fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. He urged the HC to direct the state government and other authorities to prevent and restrain the migrant workers from leaving Hyderabad and Telangana state and provide necessary arrangements for their stay in the city and various parts of the state.

He also urged the HC to direct the state government to provide transport facilities to enable the migrant workers to reach their homes after obtaining appropriate permissions or granting exemption while keeping in view the practical difficulties they are facing during the lockdown. The division Bench later posted the matter to 11 May for further hearing.

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