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Senior citizens’ day care centre: Jammu and Kashmir HC directs UT authorities to revive it

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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Civil Secretariat, Jammu/Srinagar to pass suitable speaking order in accordance with law on the maintenance of Day Care Centre for senior citizens established at Chanaporaway.

The PIL filed by Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Forum seeks directions for the restoration and the maintenance of the Day Care Centre for senior citizens established at Chanaporaway back on April 10, 2019 which was inaugurated by the then Chief Justice of J&K High Court.

It is submitted by the petitioner that the aforesaid day care centre has stopped functioning and the respondents are not restoring it.   

The petitioner has also placed reliance upon Section 19 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 which mandates that the State Government may establish and maintain old age homes in phased manner at least one in each district on the basis of the aforesaid provision.  

Badrul Duja, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the respondents are obliged under law to establish old age homes in every district and at least the day care centre for the senior citizens established earlier be made operational.

The petitioner in this connection has submitted representation to the Principal Secretary to the Social Welfare Department, Civil Secretariat, Jammu/Srinagar (respondent No.1). 

Sheikh Feroz, Deputy AG, submitted that, according to his instructions, appropriate steps have already been taken and the petitioner has filed the  petition without making a proper study of the matter as to whether the aforesaid day care centre for senior citizens is operational or not.  

Be as it may be, since the petitioner has submitted a representation and that the grievance of the petitioner can be considered by the Principal Secretary to the Social Welfare Department, Civil Secretariat, Jammu/ Srinagar, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Puneet Gupta disposed of the petition with liberty to petitioner to file a fresh representation in continuation with his early representation  to the writ petition before the respondent No.1 within a period of two weeks’ raising all his grievances as has been highlighted in the previous representation. 

“In the event, any such, representation is filed by him within a period of two weeks’ or as directed above, the respondent No.1 shall call for a report and after due verification of the necessary facts, pass suitable speaking order in accordance with law most expeditiously preferably within a period of two months from the date of filing the representation,” the Court directed.

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