The Supreme Court today stayed the order passed by the Orissa High Court on Thursday according to which migrant workers should only be allowed entry to Odisha after testing negative for COVID-19.
A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and B R Gavai stayed the order after the Ministry of Home Affairs filed an urgent Special Leave Petition stating that the HC direction was “unworkable”
The centre submitted,
“The impugned order creates an unreasonable and impossible pre-condition on the part of governments and the migrant workers who wish to travel back to their places.”
The Centre also pointed out that the petitioner had not sought such a direction from the HC.
In HC, a bench comprising Justices S Panda and K R Mohapatra passed the order while hearing a petition filed by one Narayan Chandra Jena against the return of migrants.
The bench in its order said “the state government should ensure that all migrants who are in queue to come to Orissa should be tested negative of COVID 19 before boarding the conveyance.”
As per the Standard Operating Procedure formulated by the Centre on April 29 on the inter-state movement of stranded migrants, only persons without COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to proceed.
In the SLP, it was argued that the HC order had ignored the SOP of the Centre, and “impinged upon the executive domain”.
The SLP stated, ‘The impugned order ignores the “gradual strategy” of the Executive in dealing with the issue’