Delhi HC orders security, social audit of shelter homes

 The Delhi High Court has directed the city chief secretary to undertake security and social audit of all DUSIB shelter homes to ensure they are occupied by only those eligible.

In an order passed on November 6, a bench headed by then Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma granted six weeks for completing the exercise. Justice Sharma has since been elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court.

The court noted a large number of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) shelter homes are plagued by security issues as they are occupied by many ineligible people. It was, therefore, necessary to collect quantifiable data, the court said.

“The Chief Secretary of GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) is directed to undertake a security and social audit of all DUSIB Shelter Homes in order to ensure that the Shelter Homes established by DUSIB are occupied by persons who are eligible to occupy the same and not by any other persons. The exercise be done positively within six weeks from today,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Tushar Rao Gedela.

The court passed the order on a case it had initiated on its own on the issue of non-payment of dues to Akshaya Patra Foundation which was providing food at all night shelters in the national capital.

Principal Secretary (Finance) of the Delhi government said requisite sanction has been granted for making payment to the Akshaya Patra Foundation up to March 2024, and all outstanding dues will be cleared immediately.

The Delhi government counsel also said a decision will be taken positively within six weeks for streamlining the process of supply of meals to DUSIB shelter homes and the payment mechanism for such supplies.

The court placed on record its appreciation for the efforts made by Principal Secretary (Finance) in getting the funds to the foundation released.

Earlier this year, the high court had taken cognisance of news reports about people at these homes being deprived of cooked meals, and directed the foundation to continue providing food to all Rain Baseras (night shelters) on the same payment basis as existed earlier.

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