Is this India-2014? asks HC on plight of the hapless homeless
- After looking at the terrible pictures of homeless people in Delhi, and their harassment by police, the High Court of Delhi is disturbed and has ordered for registering a FIR as the grievance on cruelty that roofless people face. HC also questioned and remarked that “This is India in 2014”.
- Last winter, around 300 people died due to lack of shelter. HC Bench was shown the newspaper reports and few clips of roofless people that were dying on street, and then being eaten up by the rats. The government of Delhi has failed to endow the poor with shelters, as 1.0-1.5 lakh roofless people are living in the city.
- When the Bench heard about the alleged police rage on homeless people, it said “Even jungle has laws”. Mr. Jayant Bhushan, the senior advocate representing the roofless people, showed Bench the pictures of a roofless woman, who was supposedly beaten up by the police, and then died.
- The Bench said that, these merciless people treat roofless people as criminals. Such kind of ‘attitude’ is unfit for the welfare of our society. In a capital city, we can’t allow poor and homeless people die in winters.
- They further asked why that woman was beaten up. Even if she was a criminal, she shouldn’t be beaten up in this way. One shouldn’t misuse his/her powers to beat up someone for being roofless.
- The HC was hearing the case related to the insufficient night shelters for roofless people in Delhi, which is being pursued by Shahari Adhikar Manch Organisation.
- It also questioned Delhi Government’s DUSIB (Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board), saying “What is DUSIB? Is it a legislative body? It should ensure that nobody sleeps on roads. The department has been legally constituted for this purpose. It must have a proper plan to either provide homeless with shelters or homes”.
- HC asked DUSIB to specify the reasons for not following ‘Master Plan 2021’, which includes 1 night shelter for over one lakh population of the city.
- Article 21