Saturday, July 21, 2007

Supreme Court firm on Anganwadi issue

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All Anganwadi Centres to be fully functional

BHOPAL July 21: On the basis of projections given to the Supreme Court by the Madhya Pradesh Government, all the Anganwadis in the State, over 60,000 of them, should now be fully functional. In April 2001, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL, Rajasthan) had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking legal enforcement of the right to food. The basic argument is that the right to food is an implication of the fundamental "right to life" enshrined in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Following on this, Apex Court hearings on various aspects of the right to food have been held at regular intervals. This "public interest litigation" (PIL) is far from over, and it may take years before the Highest Court in the country pronounces its final "judgement". But many "interim orders" have already been passed. The Supreme Court bench in its interim order pronounced by Dr. Justice Arijit Pasayat has said that the backlog with regard to the setting up of Anganwadis has to be cleared immediately and the (Anganwadi) centres which have been sanctioned up to September, 2006 shall be made operational and functional by July 15, 200 7 in the case of all States except the State of U.P. where the last date is fixed to be July 31, 2007.

Those centres which have been sanctioned up to January, 2007 shall be made functional by September 30, 2007. It is made clear that if there is any non-observance, of the time period fixed, would be seriously viewed. Affidavits shall be filed by July 20, August 10 and October 10, 2007 by the States in respect of the date lines fixed indicating the action taken, says the Supreme Court order.

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