New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Centre and Delhi government on a petition seeking vaccination and rehabilitation of beggars in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, saying the court will not take an elitist view to ban begging.
At the outset, the bench said that it cannot accept the prayer to stop begging.
A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah was considering a PIL filed by one Kush Kalra seeking to restrain beggars and vagabonds or those who are homeless from begging at traffic junctions, in markets and public places to avoid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, and to rehabilitate them.
The bench said that beggars cannot be wished away from public places and traffic junctions. “No one would like to beg if not for poverty,” the SC bench said as it turned down a petition to restrain begging at traffic lights, markets and public places in light of the precautionary measures.India's COVID-19 tally dips below 30,000 mark after 132 days; active cases now below 4 lakh
The SC observed that people are generally compelled to beg on the streets to eke out some elementary livelihood due to the absence of education and employment. Justice Chandrachud said, "Why do people beg on streets is a reason of poverty. We will not take an elitist view on this. We cannot grant the prayer to restrain them from begging, this is a socio economic problem. we can have education for their children etc."
Senior Advocate Chinmoy Sharma, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the actual prayer of the petitioner was to rehabilitate the beggars and to ensure vaccination for them to protect them from the pandemic.
The bench agreed to issue notice on the second prayer in the petition seeking rehabilitation and vaccination for beggars.
The court will hear the matter in two weeks.
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