The Supreme Court of India finally took up the issue of the plight of migrant workers and their families. It took up this issue suo moto. Meaning it was not in response to any public interest litigation. But surely it was affected by the extensive media coverage. And also by that sharp letter written by 20 senior lawyers from Delhi and Mumbai. That letter almost chastised the court for failing to protect the rights of the hapless migrants. It said that the court was showing undue deference to the government, and complete indifference to an enormous humanitarian crisis. Taking care of the migrants was not just a “policy issue” beyond the purview of the court, but in fact a constitutional issue to render justice. Whatever the influence, the court has taken notice, and asked governments, both the centre and states, what they are doing. It has also instructed that whether by bus or train, no fare should be charged to the travellers going home, and arrangement should be made for food and water, especially in this deadly heat.

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