New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday set a deadline of July 31 for states and Union Territories to implement the ‘one nation, one ration card scheme’ in a bid to allow migrants to avail themselves of subsidised food across the country. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan also asked the central government to provide  dry ration for free distribution among migrant workers till the end of the pandemic.Also Read - NEET UG 2022 Update: NTA To Release Admit Card Soon At neet.nta.nic.in | Check Expected Date Here

During the hearing, the SC asserted that its main concern is that benefits which are meant for migrant workers must reach them and stressed the process of their registration is woefully slow. The top court said the Centre and state governments must expedite registration of migrant workers and also those working in the unorganised sectors. Also Read - US Strikes Down Right to Abortion; Supreme Court Says Not in Constitution

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Furthermore, it directed the Centre to develop a national portal in consultation with NIC to register unorganized and migrant workers by July 31. The top court directed the states governments to frame schemes for distribution of food grains to those who don’t have ration cards and asked the Centre to allocate food grains as per the demands of the state governments.

The top court order came on an application by activists Harsh Mander, Anjali Bhardwaj and Jagdeep Chhokar, through advocate Prashant Bhushan, seeking directions to ensure that migrant workers are not deprived of ration and food security, and they should also be able to travel back to their homes at nominal cost. The application was filed in the suo motu case initiated by the top court last year to address migrant labourer crisis during the national lockdown.

(With agency inputs)