The Delhi High Court on Monday expressed displeasure over Delhi government for discontinuing distribution of sanitary napkins to girl students of government and government-aided schools under its Kishori Yojana. The facility has been disrupted since January 2021, due to expiry of contract with the esrtwhile service provider.
Stating that such discontinuation is causing problem to girl students, a Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta observed,
"Mere absence of a running contract is not sufficient to discontinue social measure of the kind noticed above and the Delhi government should evolve a policy to deal with a situation whenever an existing contract lapses its time or is terminated."
The bench said it is always open to the government to make procurement at approved rates on GeM portal, an e-market place hosted by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, where common user goods and services can be procured.
The development ensued in a public interest litigation preferred by NGO Social Jurist through Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Utkarsh Kumar, stating that the issue is important from the perspective to maintain personal hygiene and general health.
Govt counsel SK Tripathi, appearing on advance notice, informed the Bench that a suggestion was put forth before the government to extend the contract of the existing contractor until the tender process is completed. In any case, he added, a tender for the same was earlier floated which got cancelled. Subsequently, a fresh tender has been issued and the process is likely to be finalised by July, before resumption of school session after summer break.
Case Title: Social Jurist v. GNCTD