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Patna HC Seeks Report On Legal & Financial Aid To Leprosy Patients Amid Lockdown In Bihar

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The High Court of Patna on Tuesday in a writ petition filed by Sam Utthan directed the Member Secretary, Bihar State Legal Services Authority to get a report from the Secretaries of all the District Legal Service Authorities with regard to legal aid, financial aid/transfer of money under various schemes, distribution of food grains, medical and sanitization facilities provided to leprosy patients as well as living conditions of such leprosy patients.

The petitioner is a registered society and seeking issuance of a direction to the respondent authorities, particularly, the State of Bihar to provide the leprosy patients residing in various colonies in the State of Bihar, food grains, cooked food, medical facilities, provision of sanitization and to create a hygienic atmosphere for living in their residential area during the period of lockdown or to provide dry food articles and cooking arrangement keeping in view the difficulty in movement in the society especially for leprosy patients and their families at this hour.

The petitioner also submits that the leprosy patients are neither getting proper cooked food/food grains nor medical facilities nor the sanitation facilities nor proper living atmosphere, particularly, during present pandemic COVID-19, as a result, their living has become hazardous. It is further submitted that the food grains 4 are provided only to such leprosy patients who are having ration cards.

However, the learned AAG, informed the Court that State Government is giving Rs.1500/- per month under Bihar Shatabdi Kushth Kalyan Yojna to each leprosy patient, Rs.1000/- per month to the children of such patients under Parvaris Yojna and Rs.400/- per month as disability pension to each patient. Moreover, such amounts have already been paid in advance for this month. It is also informed that issue regarding supply of food grains to citizens having no ration cards or the principles of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ is pending consideration before the Government of India in pursuance to the order dated 30th of April passed by the Apex Court in Aayom Welfare Society Vs. Union of India and requested time to file its reply.

The High Court directed the Bihar State Legal Services Authority through its Member Secretary be added as party respondent and asked to file comprehensive report in this respect by next date of hearing i,e, 14.05.2020.

-India Legal Bureau

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