The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned a writ petition filed by Anandita Pujari against the Supreme Court of India, that sought improvement of the day care centre of the apex court, to consider a letter placed before the court on behalf of its administration.
Noted lawyer Indira Jaising, who has been appearing for the petitioner has urged the Supreme Court to make the Creche facility free. She has also raised various issues in respect of the functioning of Creche, such as the charges levied, the procedure for registering a child for a single day, better ventilation, open air area for children to play, emoluments payable to the employees/attendants, the upper age limit prescribed for children eligible for using the crèche etc. In addition to the above, counsel appearing for the Supreme Court, Sidharth Luthra himself had visited the crèche and raised concerns about its hygiene.
Children of women lawyers and Supreme Court staff are already eligible for admission to the crèche. Senior counsel Jaising has also sought the inclusion of children of lady clerks of the advocates.
During the hearing, Luthra placed the letter written to him by the Registrar of the Supreme Court after getting approval from the Chief Justice of India. As per the letter issued by the Registrar after approval of the Chief Justice of India, admission fee has been reduced from Rs 6,000 to Rs 2,000. The security deposit has been waived completely and care fee per month has been reduced to Rs 2,500 from Rs 5,000. Another contentious issue was charges levied for single day admission. The petitioner had raised concern against charging Rs 500 per day, and the same has been brought down to Rs 250 per day. The Supreme Court assured the petitioner that once the new building - being built at Pragati Maidan - is ready, many infrastructural shortcomings would be addressed.
The writ petition pointing out various deficiencies in the day care centre was filed by Anandita Pujari just two days before its inauguration. She had sought direction to set up an effective crèche that would actually serve the purpose and would prevent exclusion of women from fully exercising their fundamental right to practice the profession of law.
The apex court had already established a crèche, operating since July 1, 2015, in the new lawyers’ chamber building. Petitioner Anindita Pujari also challenged the validity of a notice dated June 10, whereby the court invited applications for the post of in-charge as well as helper of the crèche. It pointed out that the salary indicated for the post of helper is Rs 6,000, whereas the minimum wages in Delhi are Rs 9,048 for unskilled workers and more for semi-skilled and skilled labourers.