NEW DELHI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat on Friday said that the Supreme Court's order stating that no travel fare would be charged from migrant workers for their travel back home amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown is disappointing and surprising.
"The Supreme Court's judgement is both disappointing and surprising. It's disappointing because the Supreme Court did not question any of the claims which were being made by the Central government about what all unprecedented steps they had taken in favour of migrants," said Karat.
"It is a simple question. If they have taken such unprecedented steps to help migrants why would lakhs of workers be on the streets with their children? Why would lakhs of women workers be on the streets lifting luggage holding babies in their arms?" she added.
She continued saying that the Supreme Court did not feel it necessary to question the government's claim.
"And secondly, it is surprising because the Supreme Court decided that the transport through Railways which is under the Central government...the transport charges should be borne by the state government, not by the Centre. The Central government is absolutely exonerated of its responsibilities as far as transport is concerned except to provide meals," said Karat.
"If they wanted to ask the state government's to pay at least they should have heard the state governments. They did not give notice to state governments and didn't even hear them out. They just went by what Centre was saying," she added.