Delhi HC issues notices on PIL seeking to restrain begging at traffic junctions, markets to contain COVID-19 spread

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Delhi Government and Delhi Police on a petition seeking direction to temporarily restrain beggars and vagabonds from begging at traffic junctions and in markets to avoid spreading Covid-19, and rehabilitating them.

The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Tuesday issued notices to Government of NCT Delhi and Delhi Police and slated the matter for July 30 for further hearing. The plea also seeks direction to respondents to ensure food, shelter and basic medical amenities including vaccination of Covid-19 to beggars and vagabonds.

The petitioner Narender Pal Singh practising lawyer through advocates Bhagyashree and Veerendra Kumar stated that it is a sorry state of affairs to see mushrooming of beggars in view of current pandemic in the NCT Delhi as it can spread the disease exponentially as they touch each and every vehicle.

The plea stated that beggars have no awareness about their exposure to Coronavirus as no one is bothered to conduct any corona test on them, and furthermore people at traffic light points and markets area are in jeopardy as they neither wear masks nor maintain social distance.

The petition also said that the NCT Administration and DUSIB collectively have to prepare a road map to tackle begging and rehabilitate them.

“The onus of the safety of beggars as well as other people who can be infected by them, lies on the NCT Administration and DUSIB and is guaranteed under the Constitution of India,” the plea stated.

The plea also added that begging is not only a social evil but it is properly run by the beggar mafia.

“It has been seen that despite the fact that they have been rehabilitated, they escape and resort to their old activities either because they are being forced by mafia or by their joblessness or by their habitual choice. Therefore, eradication/or temporarily mandatory restriction (at least for pandemic time) of this social evil only can be done with the help of NCT Administration under the instruction of court,” the plea said.

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