SC considers Centre’s stand of helping poor during lockdown, disposes PIL on it


File Photo Supreme Court

File Photo Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took note of the Centre’s submission that it was taking steps to implement relief measures to help needy people during nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic and disposed of a PIL seeking reliefs such as financial help and food for poor persons.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana recorded the statement of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who explained the steps taken by the centre to address the concerns raised in the petition.

The apex court, through video conferencing, was hearing the PIL filed by activist Swami Agnivesh seeking immediate relief for poor, homeless and all Economically Weaker Sections during the nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of novel Coronavirus.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B R Gavai, took note of Mehta’s statement that the Central government was taking all steps to ensure that the benefits of relief measures reach to the poor and needy people.

The law officer said the Centre would ensure that state governments also do the needful to help the poor and its (Centre’s) day-to-day directives are being complied by them.

Agnivesh, represented by senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, submitted that the government should have paid wages to the migrant workers in this hour of need.

He contended that though the Centre, in its affidavit, has claimed that everything has been done to help people, but at the ground very few things have been done.

During the hearing, the bench said the grievance of the petitioner was that at the ground level, the administrative authorities were not implementing relief measures.

The law officer said there is no reason to “not to trust” the Centre.

He said “these are self-employment generating petitions. This court should not entertain such petitions”.

Taking note of the submissions of the Centre, the bench then disposed of the PIL.