5 Aug 2021 10:04 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Government to consider as representation a PIL seeking basic facilities such as food, water, sanitation and electricity for persecuted minorities from neighboring countries, living in refugee camps in the national capital.A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the concerned authorities to decide...
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Government to consider as representation a PIL seeking basic facilities such as food, water, sanitation and electricity for persecuted minorities from neighboring countries, living in refugee camps in the national capital.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh directed the concerned authorities to decide the representation as per law and policy applicable to the facts.
"This is a very ironic case. On one hand the Government is granting citizenship to persecuted minorities. On the other hand, these people are in appalling living conditions in Delhi," Advocate Gautam Jha, appearing for the Petitioners, submitted before the Bench.
The petition was filed by the founder of an NGO and four others who are stated to have fled from Pakistan due to ethnic discrimination and are now residing in the refugee camps located at Majnu Ka Tilla and Signature Bridge areas of Delhi. They claimed to have been deprived of water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and electricity. It was also alleged that the women and children living in these refugee camps are at heightened risk of gender based violence.
Stating that the Delhi Government is obligated to provide at least basic facilities to these minorities, the Petitioner urged for directions providing protection and durable solutions to the affected population.
The plea sought for "life with dignity" recognized both under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and under the International Law, and steps for social integration of the population and for creating job opportunities for them.
Jha stated that several representations have been made to the authorities in this regard. He pointed out that the matter was even taken up with the National Human Rights Commission which directed the Delhi Government to take appropriate steps but, nothing was done. A final complaint against such non-compliance was made to the NHRC in May, 2021, he said.
"Persons living in the Camps are to be treated like any other citizens of India, hence they are entitled to all rights guaranteed under Article 21. It is the legal and moral responsibility of the Indian Government to take care of the minority people persecuted in Pakistan and all those who come to India to provide them durable solutions and integrate them in the society," stated the petition.
Case Title: Sudhanshu S Singh v. State (NCT of Delhi) & Anr.