New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the slow pace of the Centre in implementing the "Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana" to provide hostels to students belonging to SC/ST category, saying it should not frame schemes that it cannot implement.
The object of the Scheme was to provide residential accommodation to SC boys and girls studying in middle schools, higher secondary schools, colleges and Universities.
The apex court expressed annoyance over the sorry state of affairs in hostels in the educational institutions across the country, saying most of them were devoid of even the bare minimum facilities.
"It's a scheme framed by you (Centre). We did not frame it. It's entirely upto you to implement the same. Don't frame scemes you cannot implement," a social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said while hearing a PIL filed by ABVP highlighting shortage of hostels for students belonging to SC/ST category.
Holding the Union government responsible for the crisis, the court directed Centre and the state governments to carry out a survey and inform it about the status of hostels being constructed under the scheme within four months.
The social justice bench also directed that construction of new hostels under the scheme should be expedited and posted the matter for further hearing on July 20.
During the hearing, ABVP alleged that the report submitted by Chairman of the Steering Committee, formed to monitor the scheme, was unsatisfactory as it primarily dealt with construction of new hostels while the plea focused on maintenance and repair of old hostels.
Additional Solicitor General P S Narsimha, however, contended that the Centre's role was limited as it has only monitoring role and the states should be asked to coordinate with it on the issue.
On this the apex court said, "We cannot say anything. It's entirely upto you why should they do it".