The Delhi High Court on Monday sought a response from the Delhi government on public interest litigation seeking forthwith restoration of sanitary napkins facility for girl students in all government schools here and said that mere absence of a running contract is not good enough to discontinue a social measure. Delhi government counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi told a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi that the facility, which was stated to have been discontinued since January 2021, is likely to start after the schools re-open post the summer break as fresh tender has already been floated and the same is likely to be finalised soon.
The bench, also comprising Justice Sachin Datta, questioned why such a measure should be stopped on account of the absence of an interim arrangement and stated that it is always to the government to procure goods at approved rates from the Government e-Marketplace. The Delhi government should evolve a policy to deal with situations where the existing contract lapses with time, the court stated.
Mere absence of a running contract is not good enough to discontinue a social measure of this kind and the Delhi government should evolve a policy to deal with a situation whenever the existing contract lapses with time, the court said. The petition by NGO Social Jurist has claimed that since January 2021, the Directorate of Education (DoE) is not providing sanitary napkins under Kishori Yojana to girl students of Delhi government schools due to which they are facing the problem.
The plea, filed through advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, submitted that DoE adopted Kishori Yojana Scheme whereby girl students studying in Delhi government schools were to be provided sanitary napkins to maintain their personal hygiene and general health and also to remove obstacles in their studies. “DoE vide circulars… directed Head of Government and Government aided schools to distribute sanitary napkins to girl students,” it said It said that restoration of sanitary napkins facility for girl students in government schools is very important and necessary for their personal hygiene and general health as in its absence, their education and attendance are adversely affected, the plea said.
It contended that the action on the part of DoE to not provide sanitary napkins facility is irrational, unreasonable, arbitrary, and violative of the fundamental right to education of girl students as guaranteed under the Constitution read with provisions of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act and Delhi School Education Act. The matter would be heard next on July 6.
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