Start disbursing Rs 25K, 5gm gold among poor girls, HC asks govt

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked state government to identify poor girls, who are getting married, and start disbursing Rs 25,000 and five grams of gold among them.
“You must identify the girls which are in that bracket (those getting married) and multiply by Rs 25,000 and 5 grams of gold. That can easily be worked out. We would like you to start disbursing the amount, so that we are able to appreciate that the work done by the court is bringing some results. We would like to see benefits of the (court) orders reaching the like quarters,” a Division Bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation—Mohammad Amin Beigh Vs State.
Last year, the J&K High Court ordered government to give poor girls a minimum of Rs 25,000 each and five grams of gold at the time of their marriage to enable them live a dignified life and prevent their exploitation.
The government, however, challenged the order before Supreme Court. But, the apex court in its order on May 5 this year found no illegality in the directions by the High Court and directed government to give effect to the directions for comprehensive scheme for betterment of the poor girls.
“After the directions issued by this court on (December 30 last year) have been upheld by the Supreme Court with a direction for implementation thereof, there is no room left for any authority to deviate from those directions because (they) are binding on all the authorities under Article 142 of the constitution,” the division bench said, rejecting the status report and ‘Draft Scheme’ filed by the government.
“Status report does not make mention of either the directions issued by this court in its preamble nor effectively deal with those directions. The Draft Scheme requires a second look at the hands of (government) so as to implement the directions issued by this court effectively.”
As the status report and Draft Scheme did not show any compliance with the direction, court discussed and explained various directions to state counsel, who assured it that the needful shall be done before next date of hearing.
Regarding the direction on marriage, the government has been directed to constitute a separate fund for which donations can be sought from “philanthropists”.
The government has already identified 3 lakh, 73 thousand and 86 poor girls in the state and the court last year had asked it to formulate an exclusive scheme for them.
Besides directions about their marriage, the court has directed government to formulate exclusive scheme for the girls and had laid down the broad parameters for it.
“Areas (should) be carved out in both urban and rural areas, which are in close proximity with each other, from where these girls have been identified. Two or three mohalla/wards in urban areas and one or two villages in rural areas can constitute a unit,” the court had said.
The court had also directed government to carve out exclusive cooperative or other societies for the girls and for their benefits.
The amount required for launching these societies, court had directed shall be provided by the government.
“These girls, wherever required shall be imparted training in handicraft, tailoring, knitting, poultry and analogous and identified jobs,” the court had said, with a further direction that the products of these Societies shall be purchased by the Handicraft Department and Corporation of the state.
“The payments to these Societies/Cooperative Societies shall be made at the time of purchase of the products itself. Further profits earned by these government outlets shall be shared by Societies/Cooperative Societies in equal proportions.”
Lastly, the court had asked the government to provide all necessary paraphernalia to enable the girls to start the activities.
The court was hearing the PIL which was initially a petition, seeking quashing of PSA order at the pre-execution stage against one Mohammad Amin Beigh, a resident of Kulgam in south Kashmir.
Beigh—who was running a private security agency— was ordered to be detained under the PSA by District Magistrate Srinagar on December 26, 2011 for indulging in immoral activities including physically exploiting poor girls as well as ‘supplying’ them to others.