The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea seeking direction to the Centre and the Delhi government to take effective measures to provide financial aid including food, shelter and medicines to sex workers and the LGBT community for their survival during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
“To say the least, the petition is filed without any ground work and without any thought to it,” a bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said, adding that “when we asked the counsel for the petitioner, for whose benefit the petition has been filed and how such people/persons are to be identified, he had no clue and appears to be thunderstruck by the question”.
The bench also refrained from imposing cost on petitioner, an advocate, considering his young age. Besides seeking welfare measures, the advocate in his public interest litigation (PIL) had sought direction for constitution of a committee to rehabilitate the sex workers and the LGBT community.
The petitioner had sought steps for exemption of rent of such persons who are living as tenants in Delhi. Taking note of which, the bench asked the petitioner, whether any separate register is maintained of such persons, as “indeed cannot be, again the petitioner has no idea”.
“We asked the petitioner, whether such persons would come forward to identify themselves. He is again unable to say anything whatsoever except for stating that such task should also be assigned to respondent (Centre and Delhi government), said the bench in its order passed on May 11.
The bench further observed that, with respect to the relief of suspension of rent, their landlords have not been impleaded and the petitioner, “inspite of being an advocate, has not thought, how an order of suspension of rent payable by such persons to others can be passed in the absence of such others”.
“The respondent (Centre and Delhi government) as well as the state governments have already brought out several schemes to alleviate hardship to the citizens in the wake of Covid-19. The Supreme Court and other courts have also issued directions wherever required.
“The persons for whose benefit this petition has been filed are also entitled to such schemes and the benefit of the directions and it is not the case that they are being discriminated against,” the bench said.
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