On December 29, the top court had directed the states to provide ration to sex workers without proof of identity. Now the court has directed the community based organizations to prepare a list of sex workers in their areas and get it verified by the concerned District Legal Services Authority or NACO. The court also said that while doing so, the state officials should maintain confidentiality in the matter.
New Delhi: Noting that a large number of sex workers are not issued ration cards, the Supreme Court on Monday said the basis of their identification should not be limited to the list provided by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai asked community-based organizations to prepare a list of sex workers in their areas, which would be verified by the respective District Legal Services Authority or the State AIDS Control Committee.
The top court said the list would be sent to the competent authority on verification. While doing so, the top court directed the state officials to maintain secrecy in the matter.
The top court also directed the states and union territories to complete the process of issuing voter cards or ration cards to sex workers.
The bench said, “The states, union territories are directed to complete the process of issuance of ration card or voter ID card and report to this court within two weeks from today.” The basis of identification of sex workers need not be limited to the list provided by NACO. The community based organizations will submit a list of sex workers, which will be verified by the respective District Legal Services Authority or the State AIDS Control Committee.
The counsel for the states which have not filed status reports, said during the hearing that the process of issuance of voter ID card or ration card is going on and the direction issued by this court is being implemented.
The top court said a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been issued by the government in Delhi and ration is being distributed at 86 centers without insisting on the residence certificate.
The bench said that as far as Chandigarh is concerned, money is being sent to the accounts of sex workers who have been identified.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that a large number of sex workers have been excluded from the lists available with NACO as according to their plan there should be minimum 1,000 sex workers in the community on the basis of which the inclusion is done in the list prepared by NACO. Is.
He said that if there are less than one thousand sex workers in a community, then the name of the members of such community is not in the list, due to which they have not been issued ration card or ration.
Grover also said that despite the order passed by this court, the state government is providing ration to sex workers only occasionally.
He said that all sex workers should be made eligible for ration through ration cards.
Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, who was appointed amicus curiae in this case, said that the states should not stop distributing ration to sex workers for any reason.
According to news agency PTI, Bhushan said that this court has clarified that the information given by community-based organizations will be taken into account for preparing the list of sex workers.
The counsel for the Unique Identification Authority of India said that on the basis of the list prepared by NACO, sex workers to whom Aadhaar cards can be given, they will take directions on the suggestion of an amicus curiae regarding relaxation in production of proof of residence.
The matter will now be heard after four weeks.
The top court is hearing a petition, which has raised the problems of sex workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition has highlighted the plight of sex workers due to COVID-19 and sought relief measures for over nine lakh female and transgender sex workers across India.
It has been said in the petition that sex workers also have the right to live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution and their problems also need to be addressed.
It has been said in the petition that due to the COVID-19 epidemic, sex workers are isolated due to social stigma and in such a situation they need cooperation.
On December 29 last year, the Supreme Court had directed all states to provide dry rations (pulses, flour, rice, sugar and sugar) to sex workers identified by the National AIDS Control Organization and legal services authorities without forcing them to produce proof of identity. Provide milk powder etc.).
The bench had directed that the authorities may take the assistance of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and state AIDS control committees, which in turn would prepare a list of sex workers after verifying the information provided to them by the community-based organisations.
(with input from news agency language)
read this also…
Categories: india society