Updated: April 8, 2018 1:11:57 pm
The Supreme Court will have a well-equipped operational creche from May 1 in its new spacious annexe building premises for working lawyer parents, the staff of apex court and advocates. The top court has approved the new guidelines for regulating the facility. The apex court said norms governing the creche, including the question of charges, would be reconsidered once it becomes operational and in the light of the experience to be gained.
A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and R Banumathi approved the draft application registration form, draft circular and revised norms/guidelines for the creche in the apex court. It directed the registry to explore the possibility of outsourcing the facility through the Ministry of Woman and Child Development. “The Registry of the Supreme Court shall take necessary action to ensure that the creche becomes operational on and from May 1, 2018,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on July 10.
After a go-ahead from the bench, the apex court registry has also issued a notification saying that creche facility currently functioning at chamber number 8 and 9 of New Lawyers Chamber building will be shifted to spacious site at ground floor in new annexe building. “… The newly-constructed creche will be made operational with effect from May 1, 2018. The new creche is more spacious and better equipped with facilities having a total area of about 2000 sq ft with open area in front of about 500 sq ft for garden,” the notification said.
Elaborating details of the creche, the notification said that it will be for the children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years of members of Supreme Court Bar Association, Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and female registered clerks engaged by the AORs/senior advocates, clerks of advocates, SCBA staff and officers and employees of the registry. It said that creche shall admit up to a maximum of 30 children instead of 10 children as at present and out of 30 seats, three seats shall be kept vacant for accommodating the children desirous of availing creche facility for a day or two and also for children as may be recommended by Supreme Court Mediation Centre and 27 seats will be filled by admitting children on regular basis.
The notification further earmarked the seats as children of members of SCBA including staff-12, children of registry’s staff-12, children of advocates’ clerk-3, for a guest child for a day or two-3. The admission fee for the facility will be Rs 1,000, care fee per month payable in advance will be Rs 1,500 and the charges per child per day will be Rs 100.
The facility will function from May 1 from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm on all working days of the registry from Mondays to Fridays and from 8.30 AM to 2 PM on all working Saturdays. The court had earlier directed its registry to make arrangements for an operational creche facility from May 1 and had asked all the stakeholder to hold a meeting with the officials of the apex court registry to evolve its modalities.
The apex court directions had come on a PIL filed by advocate Anindita Pujari seeking more facilities like separate rooms so that more children could be kept there by working parents. Earlier, the apex court had said that creche service in the court premises was inadequate while asking the registry to see whether there was any prospect for expanding its service within the available infrastructure. Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who represents the petitioner in the case, had earlier contended that the fee structure for the service was discouraging many working parents from taking the services of the child care unit.
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