Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

The National Human Rights Commission, India has expressed concerns over the living conditions of slum dwellers in Mumbai.

Acting on a complaint in this regard, the Commission issued notices to the Government of Maharashtra and the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs seeking their responses.

The Government of Maharashtra responded, through its Chief Secretary, that several efforts have been made and schemes formulated to provide dwelling units to the slum dwellers for Economically Weaker Sections with the State and Central assistance under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna (Urban), PMAY (U). Shortage of funds has been cited as a constraint.

The Centre on its part responded that out of 2.24 lakh houses in Maharashtra, 2 lakh were sanctioned for Mumbai alone, out of which 58225 have been grounded.

The Commission has sought a response from the Secretary, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to give a comprehensive report. He has been given 4 weeks’ time. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs vide its communication dated 3rd December, 2021, submitted that the Land and Colonization are State subjects. The Centre is augmenting the efforts of the State to meet the housing needs of economically weaker sections in urban areas through Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna-Urban (PMAY-U).

National Human Rights Commission

[Notice dt. 7-1-2022]

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Division Bench of Rajiv Sharma and Harinder Singh, JJ. allowed the petition seeking a survey to be conducted for the functioning of jails in Punjab and the living conditions of the inmates.

The petitioner was a doctor posted in Central Jail, Ludhiana. The petitioner found grave irregularities in the functioning of the jail, such as poor quality and insufficiency of food, unhygienic cooking conditions, and kitchen staff suffering from a number of diseases. Furthermore, there were no proper supply of medicines and the inmates were charged exorbitant prices to avail of the hospital facilities, drugs and injections. The lack of proper medical aid resulted in the deaths of the inmates. The petitioner filed for a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) praying for an independent investigation into the functioning of the jails of Punjab especially in the district of Ludhiana, and prayed for orders to improve the same.

Upon investigation by a Special Investigation Team, a report was submitted along with suggestions for the improvement of certain facilities. The present Bench upon considering the suggestions directed the State to maintain hygienic living conditions in the jail, and the kitchen. The Court also directed to provide the inmates with sufficient and hygienic food, and all the inmates suffering from diseases to be transferred to separate cells. An obligation was imposed upon the CMO and the Home Secretary for implementing the orders of the court.[Swarandeep Singh v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 2185, decided on 31-10-2019]