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SC seeks status of homeless
NEW DELHI, JAN 27 (IANS):
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Published on 28 Jan. 2010 12:31 AM IST
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A week after its order to the Delhi government to provide night shelters for the homeless, the Supreme Court Wednesday sought to know the facilities available for homeless all over the country. A bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan issued notices to all the states and union territories and asked them to file their replies within a week. The bench issued the notices on a report by two former bureaucrats N.C. Saxena and Harsh Mander, specially appointed by the court as its commissioners to look into the plight of homeless people in the national capital, on the right to life of urban homeless people. Widening the ambit of their probe, the two specially appointed officials submitted their report to the court and sought a direction similar to its Jan 20 Delhi order to various state governments. “Living in the open is gross denial of the right to live with dignity,” said the two court commissioners in their report to the court. They added: “Directions similar to those given to Delhi government last week need to be passed addressing the entire country, to defend and uphold the right to live with dignity, and the right of food and shelter for all urban homeless people in the country.” The plea by the two court commissioners sought directions to state governments to build at least one night shelter, equipped with all basic amenities, at the rate of at least one per 100,000 urban population in the state. The commissioners’ plea also wanted directions to state governments to ensure that all night shelters for homeless should be functional through the year. The plea asked for community kitchens for the urban homeless in all the states, at least at the ratio of one kitchen per 20,000 of the urban population in the state. On Jan 20, taking urgent note of the plight of the homeless in Delhi’s bone-chilling cold, the bench had ordered Delhi government to provide night shelters to all homeless people in the national capital within hours. The bench had also asked the government to ensure that these night shelters remain equipped with all basic amenities, including blankets, food and bathrooms. The apex court Wednesday also had a word of praise for the Delhi government for taking up expeditious measures to set up night shelters within hours.

 
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