Karnataka High Court on Wednesday noted that it is extremely critical to provide night shelters to the homeless people in urban areas amid the second wave of Covid-19.
The division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj also stated that the issue also needs to be addressed by the state government.
“Providing night shelters to urban homeless amid covid -19 is critical and needs to be addressed immediately. To enable the AG to take instructions, list the petition on June 4, 2021,” said the High Court bench.
The division bench was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) who was seeking implementation of the state government order dated May 29, 2014 in connection to the provisions of urban homeless shelters.
The State had submitted an affidavit detailing the number of night shelters. During today’s hearing, the High Court was also informed that there are very few night shelters in Bengaluru and other cities of state.
The court was also informed that the State government had set up temporary night shelters for the urban homeless persons. Taking note of the submission, the court asked whether that can be done during the second wave as well.
In March, Karnataka High Court had noted that the failure of the State government to provide basic shelter to homeless persons is a violation of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
“State must be conscious of the fact that its failure to provide basic shelter to urban homeless may amount to violation of Right to Life guaranteed by Article 21 of Constitution of India. If poor homeless in the cities are without shelter, it is a violation of their Right to live a dignified life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” said the March order.
The matter will now be heard on June 4.