The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday asked the state government about the arrangements made to bring back 19 lakh migrant workers currently stranded in Gujarat and some southern states.
A division bench of justice Sangeet Lodah and justice Rameshwar Vyas gave the government a day's time to file a reply as it listed the matter for hearing on Thursday.
Hari Singh Rajpurohit, in his petition, said a phased and expedited mechanism must be provided by the government for the return of the state's migrant workers, who are stuck at the border while road or rail transportation be arranged for those stranded outside Rajasthan.
"We have also prayed for the abrogation of the need for the state's (Rajasthan) approval to let migrant workers in if they have got the consent from the state of origin," said the petitioner's counsel Moti Singh.
Singh further told the court that on May 7, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had asked other states not to issue e-passes to migrants returning to Rajasthan without its permission while on May 10, it decided that only those who had their own vehicles could enter.
"Since April 30, when buses and trains were roped in to transport the migrants, about 15 lakh of them registered on the state portal. What has the state government done so far to bring them back," he said.
"These migrant workers have walked barefoot on highways without and food or facility to rest and now they are stuck at the border for want of an e-pass. How could such people be expected to have smartphones and access to e-mitras for registration and obtaining e-passes," Singh argued in the court.
The migrants have ration cards of Rajasthan and are not eligible for ration in other states as per the provisions of the Food Security Act.