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Do State Commissions For Women Actually Exist? Asks SC [Read Order]

Apoorva Mandhani
23 Oct 2017 1:14 PM GMT
Do State Commissions For Women Actually Exist? Asks SC [Read Order]
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Dealing with the issue of precarious conditions faced by destitute widows living across the country, the Supreme Court recently asked the Centre if State Commissions for Women (SCW) actually exist.During a recent hearing, a Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta lamented the lack of response received from the States in the matter."We make it...

Dealing with the issue of precarious conditions faced by destitute widows living across the country, the Supreme Court recently asked the Centre if State Commissions for Women (SCW) actually exist.

During a recent hearing, a Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta lamented the lack of response received from the States in the matter.

"We make it clear that this matter has to be taken up very seriously by the State Governments failing which we may have to take some action including seeking an explanation from the concerned Secretary in the State Government dealing with women's welfare along with payment of heavy costs," it observed, after being informed by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar that he had received a response only from three States.

The Bench then directed the Secretary at the Ministry of Women and Child Development to convey its "sentiments" to the State Governments.

It, thereafter, asked the Solicitor General to inform it if the SCWs actually exist and asked communications to be sent to State Governments, directing them to ensure that such Commissions are in place. In the meantime, Mr. Kumar agreed to file an affidavit on the 'Agreed Action Plan' within six weeks.

Earlier in August, the Supreme Court had constituted a committee to prepare a common working plan for rehabilitation of widows, after observing that they belong to “socially disadvantaged class” of society and were not treated with the dignity they deserve in the shelter homes in Vrindavan and elsewhere.

"There can be little or no doubt at all that widows in some parts of the country are socially deprived and to an extent ostracized. Perhaps this is the reason why many of them choose to come to Vrindavan and other ashrams where, unfortunately, they are not treated with the dignity they deserve," the Court had then observed.

The committee constituted by the Court comprises of the following persons: Suneeta Dhar of NGO Jagori, Meera Khanna of Guild for Service, Abha Singhal Joshi, lawyer and activist, a nominee of HelpAge India, a nominee of Sulabh International, and Aparajita Singh, Supreme Court lawyers.

Read the Order Here

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