KARNATAKA HC ASKS CLARIFICATION FROM STATES ON BEARING RAIL FARE OF MIGRANT WORKERS.

The Karnataka High Court has asked the state to clarify on whether it really wants to take a stand that a migrant worker who has no income and is not in a position to pay Railway fare will not be allowed to travel by Shramik special trains to his home State.

The court sought the clarification from the state by May 21, after government in its written submission said that six shramik trains were arranged till 15th May, 2020 from various States to bring workers from other states back to Karnataka.  The stand specifically taken was that the expenses for travel by shramik trains have been paid fully by the Government of Karnataka. However, the stand taken as regards the migrant workers in the State who want to go back to their States of their origin is that unless the corresponding States to which the migrants wish to travel agree to bear the train fare, the migrant workers will have to pay the train fare.
Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Union Government, explained to the Court the inter-state arrangements for bearing travel cost of Shramik Trains.

On May 12, the court had prima facie held that considering the constitutional rights of the migrant workers, no one should be deprived of an opportunity to go back to his own State only for the reason that he has no capacity to pay for the transport.
The court had then asked the Central and State Government to immediately take a decision on the question of paying railway fare of those migrant workers who are wanting to travel back to their states but cannot do so due to their inability to pay.