Asia & Australia

November 10, 2017

Make crèche facility fully functional by March: SC

Supreme Court

Disposing off a writ petition filed by Advocate-on-Record Anindita Pujari, the Supreme Court of India directed the concerned authorities to make the crèche facility, within the Supreme Court, fully functional by March 1, 2018.

Anindita Pujari, in the petition challenged the constitutionality of a circular dated June 28, 2015, issued by the apex court to announce the establishment of a creche facility in the court complex. The petitioner also demanded for the cancellation of a recruitment notice dated June 10, 2015, inviting applications for the post of in-charge and helpers at the child care centre.

The petitioner argued that the circular restricted the use of the daycare facility to the children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, adding, such a condition is arbitrary and violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

It further alleged the lack of any provision for nutritious meals for the children, capping the maximum number of children that may be admitted in the creche to 10 and excessive charges of Rs. 5,000 per month; imposed for availing the creche facility.

Arguing for the petitioner, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising said that by virtue of Article 45 of the Constitution, the State is responsible to provide for the welfare of children till the age of 6 years.

In order to uphold the right of female lawyers to professional longevity, the upper age limit of 2 years should be relaxed and day care should be offered free of cost like the other facilities of bar rooms and washrooms within the court premises, Jaising said.

On August 30, the court accepted the report of the Secretary General of the Supreme Court; showing the allotment by the registry of an area in the courts newly constructed annex building to shift the creche from its present location in the New Lawyers’ Chambers Block on Bhagwandas Road.

It ordered speedy execution of the repair works and renovation at the site by the Central Public Works Department. The Secretary General was also directed to submit a progress report in three months.

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