New Delhi: Porters in the forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir are a "vital link" in the supply chain of the army in high altitude areas and at times even carry sick and injured soldiers, the Supreme Court said on Friday, and asked the government to formulate a welfare scheme for them.
"They are at the beck and call of the army doing odd jobs in hostile and inaccessible places," said the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud as the court gave three weeks` time to the government to finalise a welfare scheme for porters who work for the army on casual basis.
The bench enquired if there was any thinking to regularise the services of those porters who have already served the army in casual capacity on continuous basis for the last 10 years or more.
Telling the court that the government did not treat the matter relating to porters as an adversarial issue, Additional Solicitor General P.S. Patwalia said the government was working on a scheme for the welfare of porters.
Some of the porters had knocked on the apex court`s door seeking regularisation of their services and other benefits.
On an earlier occasion, the court had asked the government to address their grievances and that the role of porters should be appreciated.
The matter will come up for further hearing on August 22.