Delhi LG approves withdrawal of cases against migrant labourers for lockdown violations

New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has approved the withdrawal of 15 cases against 64 migrant labourers for violating lockdown measures during the Covid pandemic, an official statement said on Tuesday.

These cases were registered by the Delhi government’s Directorate of Prosecution, it said.

According to the statement, Saxena has also directed the Delhi Police to file a closure report in 10 similar cases involving more than 100 migrant labourers.

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Taking a humane and reasoned view that these violations committed by poor migrants were essentially petty in nature and in a situation of extreme distress, Saxena believed this decision will save them from “unnecessary harassment and running around”, an official said.

In line with the Supreme Court‘s judgment dated June 9, the LG has taken this view keeping in mind the helpless condition of the migrants in the national capital during the pandemic, many of whom had lost their livelihoods and could not afford their rents and existential needs, the official said.

Forty-three such cases under Section (51) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and other offences were filed against the migrant labourers for allegedly violating measures of the lockdown by moving on the roads, officials said.

Of these, 18 have already been disposed of and decided upon by the courts. In 15 cases where charge sheets have already been filed in the courts, the LG has ordered the withdrawal of prosecution, and in the remaining 10 cases where charge sheets are yet to be filed or accused are untraced, the LG has asked the Delhi Police to file a closure report.

There was a large scale exodus of migrant workers from Delhi after the announcement of the lockdown in 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The central government had repeatedly asked the state governments and Union Territory administrations to stop the exodus and provide migrant workers food and shelter during the lockdown period.

The centre had suspended two senior Delhi government officers and served show-cause notices on two others for “serious lapses” in duty during the lockdown.

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