New Delhi: Observing that "our heart bleeds
when we see homeless persons sleeping without roof in this
winter," the Supreme Court today directed the government to
ensure that there are no deaths on account of the biting cold
conditions in the country.
"Our heart bleeds when we see homeless persons sleeping
without roof in this winter. You can`t permit your own
children to die in winter", a bench of justices Dalveer
Bhandari and Dipak Mishra told Additional Solicitor General
Mohan Parasaran appearing for Delhi government.
The apex court made the remarks while referring to media
reports and photographs highlighting instances of scores of
people sleeping on the pavements outside the prestigious All
India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS).
Parasaran told the court that due to security reasons
AIIMS had demolished the night shelter earlier constructed
by the government but assured steps would be taken to set up a
temporary night shelter at the place.
But the apex court expressed displeasure at the statement
and said "you are quick in demolishing instead of
constructing. It is a serious problem. It must not happen any
more. You have to protect your own people."
The ASG told the court that Delhi government had
facilitated construction of 64 permanent shelters in the
But the contention was challenged by the petitioner
Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)`s counsel Colin
Gonzalves who said hardly any of the shelter homes had
occupants and there was "near zero occupancy."