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No use of making grand statements on women’s welfare: SC

Legal News, Nation (New Delhi), December 7:-There is no use in making “grand statements” on the issue of gender justice when the authorities in states and union territories do not even have five minutes to respond to a communication of the Women and Child Development Ministry in this regard, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

The scathing remarks came from the “extremely pained” top court which slapped a cost of Rs two lakh each on 12 states and union territories (UTs) for showing complete lack of concern for the welfare of women.

Besides, the apex court also directed the states and UTs, which have given incomplete response to the secretary of Ministry, to deposit Rs one lakh each with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks.

“There is no use in making grand statements and submissions in favour of gender justice when the state governments and the government of UTs do not even have five minutes time to respond to the Ministry of Women and Child Development for the sake of women,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.

The order came after the apex court was informed that the secretary of the union ministry had addressed a letter to all the states and UTs on the issue but 12 states and UTs, including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Assam Uttrakhand, Karnataka, Punjab and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, have not bothered to respond to it.

The bench also noted that the remaining states and UTs had given an incomplete response to the communication.

“We are extremely pained to note from a reading of the affidavit and complete lack of a positive response from the state governments, UTs that there is very little concern, if at all, for the welfare of women of the states, UTs,” the bench said.

“All the state governments, UTs must, if they have any concern for the welfare of women of their states, UTs, respond giving full details as desired to the secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, within three weeks from today,” it directed.

The bench, while hoping that the states and UTs would “at least show some degree of sensitivity” to women’s welfare asked the secretary to compile the information and place it on affidavit before the court.

“We make it clear that in case adequate responses are not given to the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, we will be constrained to require the presence of the Chief Secretary in the states, UTs in this court to explain why they have not responded and why they do not care for the women of their states, UTs,” it said.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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