Srinagar: The High Court has ordered all district social welfare officers (DSWOs) to appear before it for not understanding “the true spirit and purport of the State Marriage Assistance Scheme (SMAS) and HUNNAR”.
Under SMAS, an eligible girl beneficiary will be entitled to get one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 and five grams of gold from DSWOs, while Hunnar is a skill development programme for the girls living below poverty line.
Both the schemes are meant to enable poor girls live a dignified life.
SMAS was passed in line with the directions by the court, directing the government to identify poor girls and disburse Rs 25,000 and five grams of gold among those who are getting married.
“It appears that these District Social Welfare Officers have not understood the true spirit and purport of the SMAS and HUNNAR. In order to ensure that these schemes are implemented in letter and spirit
on the ground level, it is deemed appropriate to direct all the District Social Welfare Officers across the state to appear before the Court on next date,” a division bench of justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and B S Walia said.
While posting the case on the week following the next, the bench directed DSWOs to get the record about the identified poor girls of their district with them.
It also announced to consider the issue about the amendments to be made in the corruption laws on the next date of hearing.
The government has already identified 3, 73, 086 girls in the state and the court, in 2013, had asked it to formulate an exclusive scheme for them.
Besides directions about their marriage, the court has directed the 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.