11 Nov 2023 9:55 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government’s Chief Secretary to undertake a security and social audit of all the shelter homes under the supervision of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to ensure that they are occupied by eligible persons. A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma (now elevated to the Supreme Court) and Justice Tushar Rao...
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government’s Chief Secretary to undertake a security and social audit of all the shelter homes under the supervision of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to ensure that they are occupied by eligible persons.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma (now elevated to the Supreme Court) and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela said that the exercise be done positively within six weeks.
“The Chief Secretary of GNCTD is directed to undertake a security and social audit of all DUSIB Shelter Homes in order to ensure that the Shelter Homes established by DUSIB are occupied by persons who are eligible to occupy the same and not by any other persons,” the court said in an order passed on November 06.
This was after it was brought to the court’s notice that in a large number of DUSIB shelter homes, there was an issue of security and they were being occupied by ineligible persons.
“In view of the same, a security and social audit has become necessary to collect quantifiable data in respect of these Shelter Homes,” the court said.
The court was hearing a suo moto public interest litigation initiated over an article published in the Times of India newspaper in respect of a DUSIB shelter for homeless single women located in Nizamuddin.
It was stated that the agency which was supplying meals to the shelter house had stopped supplying meals and that there were around 60 homeless single women including elderly and people with disabilities and 17 children who were living in the shelter house.
Earlier, the court had pulled up DUSIB over non payment of over Rs. 9 crores outstanding dues to Akshaya Patra Foundation which supplied food to the board’s shelter homes.
The Delhi Government’s Principal Secretary (Finance) told court that appropriate sanction has been granted for payment of dues to Akshaya Patra Foundation up to March, 2024, and that all the pending dues will be cleared immediately.
Delhi Government’s counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi submitted that a decision will be taken within six weeks for streamlining the process of supply of meals to DUSIB shelter homes and also regarding the payment mechanism to ensure timely payment to the suppliers.
“The personal appearance of the Learned Chief Secretary, GNCTD is
exempted and this Court appreciates the efforts of Principal Secretary (Finance), GNCTD in getting the funds released to the Foundation,” the court said while listing the matter on January 22, 2024.
In July, the court had observed that it is “really unfortunate” that despite a “specific order” passed on May 30 directing DUSIB to make the payment of Rs. 9,19,00,000 to Akshaya Patra Foundation within four weeks, not even a single rupee was paid.
Title: COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION v. GNCTD AND ORS
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 1112
Click Here To Read Order