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SC Stays Migrant Order

The Supreme Court of India on Friday has stayed the Orissa High Court order, which directed that the migrant laborers should be allowed entry to Odisha only after testing negative for COVID-19.

The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhusan, Sanjay Kisan Kaul and Bhusan Ramakrishna Gavai have stayed the order.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) filed an urgent Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Apex Court stating the Orissa High Court Order as “Unworkable”.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned it in the Apex Court that “The impugned order created an unreasonable and impossible pre-condition on the part of the Government and the migrant workers who wish to return back to their places”.

The Orissa High Court on Thursday suggested that the state government ensure that only those migrant workers, who are tested negative for COVID-19, are allowed to return to the state.

 Adjudicating over a PIL, a Division Bench comprising Justice Kumari Sanju Panda and Justice K R Mohapatra adjourned the matter till the next sitting of the Bench.

"In the meantime, the State Government should ensure that all the migrants who are in the queue to come to Odisha should be tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding the conveyance," the bench said during the hearing.

The high court, however, has not specified whether the state government would ensure the corona status of the returnees through laboratory tests or thermal screening tests.

Social Activist Narayan Chandra Jena had written a letter to the high court on May 1 seeking judicial intervention for ensuring that corona inflicted migrant workers are not allowed to enter the State by the Government.

The letter was converted to a PIL on 4 May and the petitioner appeared in person to argue the case on 7 May.
 


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