SRINAGAR, July 31: The High Court today pulled up the Social Welfare Department for not implementing the court directions regarding assistance to the poor girls and directed the implementation of its directions at the earliest.
Court in order to seek the implementation of SMAS and HUNNAR schemes and
Court directions passed from time to time sought status of these two schemes from District Bandipora and District Srinagar in the first instance as sample. Court in this regard directed the District Social Welfare Officer of these districts to be present on next date along with the record.
“Directions given by us has not been complied with. The affidavit filed is not in conformity with the directions. We are concerned with the two schemes,” Division Bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said.
Hearing a Public Interest on the issues of welfare and providing financial assistance to the poor girls as also amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act, the court had also directed the Commissioner/Secretary of Social Welfare Department to modify the para-8 in form-I scheme so as to provide financial assistance for marriage to the poor and destitute girls without any delay and complex formalities.
Instead modifying the format, Secretary SWD in its affidavit said that on December last year sanction had been given for constitution of Village Level Councils and they have been empowered to certify and verity the credentials of the beneficiaries.
“Format modification has not been done. It be done at the earliest and report the court in this regard by next date”, DB directed.
Court during the proceeding of the matter rapped the counsel representing SWD for this lengthy procedure and observed to him that there is no such requirement required as only date of marriage supported by an affidavit is required to be submitted by the beneficiary before the District Social Welfare Officer of concerned district and not before the VLCs as they are not part of the scheme and this exercise, court said, amounted to accommodate your (SWDs) own people.
Court also sought information from the counsel about the time taken from submission of the application and benefits provided to the beneficiary.
Amicus to the PIL, B A Bashir also submitted before the court that the department has issued the order about constitution of VLCs as out of context of the scheme as also court orders and submitted before the bench that the authorities have made the process for providing assistance as difficult as selection is being made by the recruitment board.
Court also observed to the counsel that if they do not understand the court language then get the Commissioner Secretary SWD here, court will make him understand. “Seek information about the previous order from the department otherwise you are in contempt”, the DB observed.
The court while observing that the authorities have not understood the purpose and spirit of the schemes launched by the Government for poor girls and directed all the District Social Welfare Officers of Srinagar and Bandipora to get the records available before the court before the court on next date.
Authorities after identifying the poor girls under the scheme (SMAS) and court directions are duty bound to provide them an amount of Rs. 25000/- each and 5 gms of gold for their living a dignified life.