New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre and the city government on a plea seeking facilities at beggars' homes here.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice to authorities concerned while hearing a PIL which was transferred to it by the Supreme Court last month.
"Matter has been transferred from the Supreme Court. Issue notice to respondent 1 (Centre), respondent 2 (Government of Delhi-NCT) and respondent 3 (Commissioner of Police). Put up for hearing on April 22," the said.
The apex court while transferring the matter in its January 30, 2015 order had said that it will be appropriate if the matter is dealt by the High Court as the case pertains to beggars' homes in Delhi.
The apex court bench comprising justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit had also said that since the matter is pending for quite some time, the Delhi High Court is directed to take up the case on regular basis and pass appropriate directions at the earliest.
To look into the facilities at beggars' homes, a expert committee was constituted by the Supreme Court comprising former Additional Solicitor General L Nageswara Rao, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves and advocate Indra Sawhney, which submitted its report on October 8, 2014, detailing the "inadequate" facilities at such institutions.
A PIL was first filed by Kartikea Sawhney in the Supreme Court in year 2000, seeking basic human and fundamental rights for the beggars in the national capital.
The PIL sought the court's direction for appointing of visiting committees for periodic visits to these institutions and making of arrangements for clean shelter, proper food, clothing and other necessary basic amenities to the inmates.
Sawhney also sought direction to the Centre for providing vocational training that would provide meaningful work and provision of payment of minimum allowance to the inmates for the work done by them.
The petitioner has also demanded increase in the number of beggars' homes in Delhi in which NGO's and voluntary organisations may also be attached to participate in ensuring inmates' well-being and direction to not to keep juvenile criminals/insane beggars in the company of other beggars housed in the institutions.