Justice Paresh Upadhyay
Issue 2 | June 27, 2020
The reason behind the Hon'ble Gujrat High Court in recognising itself as the Carpathian for the migrant workers was practically implemented by Hon'ble Justice Paresh Upadhyay in Ravi S/O Vinod Gupta v. State of Gujarat. The empathetic and humanitarian approach adopted by Justice Upadhyay while rendering justice to the migrant workers by carefully considering the mitigating factors emerged as an exemplary example of performing judicial duty.
Justice Paresh Upadhyay is believed to be a man of principles, with a deep rooted sense of justice. He has previously delivered the landmark judgement, setting aside Gujarat Law Minister Bhupendrasingh Chudasama’s election, and is someone who does not get carried away by fear or favours.
He emerged as a saviour of the migrant workers amidst the prevailing COVID-19 crisis by recognising the migrants protesting during the lockdown imposed by the state as more of victims than criminals. He observed that, "In the lockdown, when the applicants were without any work, without any money and even without any food and under such circumstances, instead of arranging of their going back home, they are sent to jail. The Applicants are more of victims than criminals. They need not be continued in custody any further. They need to be set free immediately, on furnishing their personal bond, without any further condition." The court under his esteemed leadership granted bail to all the migrants arrested for protesting during the lockdown on regular bail on their executing personal bond of Rs.500/- (Rupees Five Hundred only), each.
Moreover, it was further observed that "It appears that migrant workers are suffering the most. They are desperate to go back to their homes i.e. to their native States across the country" and remained the state of its duty to ensure that its citizens don't become the victims of starvation.
The order passed by Hon'ble Justice PareshUpadhyay marks the dawn of recognition of rights of migrants especially emphasising on their protesting rights as a mechanism of voicing their miseries in the prevailing unprecedented times due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic the subsequent imposition of lockdown. The order also acts as reminder to the state and government authorities of their duties and responsibilities towards the vulnerable sections of the society.