In a welcome move, the Supreme Court has directed its Registry to install three sanitary napkin vending machines within the Court premises.
The directive was issued by a Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, after Advocate Nandini Gore pointed out the plight of the women visiting the Court. Ms. Gore, who is the Secretary of the Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association (SCAORA), informed the Court that there are around 1,000 woman lawyers and interns as well as around 250 woman staff with the Court Registry.
The Court, thereafter, allocated Rs. 5 lakh for three machines and an equal number of incinerators to safely dispose of soiled napkins.
The funds came from Rs. 1.4 crore that the Court received from two Gurgaon-based doctors who were convicted for sheltering a former legislator of the Indian National Lok Dal and helping him evade arrest. From the remaining amount, funds have also been allocated to Bar Associations, for providing medical assistance to lawyers.
The money has been directed to be utilized in the following manner:
“(a) A sum of Rs. 85,00,000/- (Rupees eighty-five lakhs only) be given to the Supreme Court Bar Association, which shall be kept in a fixed deposit and the interest arising therefrom shall be disbursed for medical assistance to the members of the SCBA on proper verification. The aforesaid amount shall be kept in a different account by the SCBA.
(b) A sum of Rs.45,00,000/- (Rupees forty-five lakhs only) be given to the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association, which shall be kept in a fixed deposit and the interest arising therefrom shall be disbursed for medical assistance to the members of the SCAORA on proper verification. The aforesaid amount shall be kept in a different account by the SCAORA.
(c) From the balance amount, a sum of Rs.5, 00,000/- (Rupees five lakhs only) be used by the Registry of this Court for purchase of three vending machines for dispensing sanitary napkins and three incinerators for disposal of the used sanitary napkins. The Registry shall also fix them at suitable locations.
(d) A sum of Rs.5,00,000/- (Rupees five lakhs only) be given to Vimla, the widow of the victim and the said amount shall be kept in a fixed deposit in the name of Vimla so that she can utilize the interest of the amount during her life time. The amount granted in favour of the widow of the deceased should be disbursed by way of a bank draft in her name on proper identification.
(e) The interest that has been accrued in the sum deposited before the Registry of this Court, i.e. Rs.1,40,00,000/- (Rupees one crore forty lakhs only) shall also be distributed on pro rata basis keeping in view the above directions.”
Read the Order Here