Millennium Post (Kolkata)

SC directs states to inform on condition of migrant children after Covid lockdown

The plea contended that the lockdown has resulted in tremendous hardship for migrant children & till date there has been no assessment of the exact numbers


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all states to inform it about the number of migrant children and their condition on a plea seeking directions for the protection of their fundamenta­l rights amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubram­anian also asked all the states impleaded as parties in the case to file replies in the matter.

Senior advocate Jayna Kothari appeared for the petitioner­s.

The top court had impleaded all the states on March 8 and issued notice on the plea filed by the Child Rights Trust and a Bengaluru resident seeking directions for the protection of the fundamenta­l rights of migrant children amidst the pandemic.

The plea stated that due to the severity of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Union government announced a nationwide lockdown and during this period, migrant children were affected the most and have been among the most vulnerable.

“Although there has been marked efforts by the respondent­s to provide migrant workers with welfare measures, no report emanated from the Central or the state government­s’ detailing relief measures extended to women and children who are stranded or in relief camps and quarantine centres at source districts.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned by two weeks the hearing on a plea of Zakia Jafri, the wife of slain MP Ehsan Jafri, challengin­g the Special Investigat­ion Team (SIT) clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots.

A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said the matter would be listed after two weeks as the petitioner has circulated a letter seeking adjournmen­t in the case. The apex court had on March 16 posted the matter for hearing on Tuesday and said that it would not entertain any more request for adjournmen­t.

The bench had last month taken note of the request of senior advocate KapilSibal, appearing for Jafri, that the matter be heard sometime in April as several advocates were busy in the Maratha reservatio­n case which was then being heard by a five-judge Constituti­on bench. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, had then opposed the plea for adjournmen­t.

The top court had in February last year fixed the case for hearing on April 14, 2020 saying the matter had been adjourned many times and will have to be heard someday.

Prior to this, Jafri's counsel had told the apex court that a notice needs to be issued in the plea as it relates to an alleged "larger conspiracy" from February 27, 2002 to May 2002.

Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, a day after the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express was burnt at Godhra killing 59 people and triggering riots in Gujarat.

On February 8, 2012, the Special Investigat­ion Team (SIT) had filed a closure report giving a clean chit to Modi, now the prime minister, and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was "no prosecutab­le evidence" against them. Zakia Jafri had filed a petition in the apex court in 2018 challengin­g the Gujarat High Court's October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the decision of the SIT.

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