GUWAHATI: Responding to a PIL (24/2021), the Gauhati High Court has directed the Social Welfare Department to arrange finances for the operation of three shelter homes established for the transgenders.
The PIL was lodged by the All Assam Transgender Association stating that three shelter homes in – Kamrup Metro, Dhubri, and Bongaigaon are starving of funds.
The Advocate for the petitioner Swati B. Baruah stated that each shelter home has a monthly expense of around Rs 15 lakh.
"We have noticed that although recommendations of the Social Welfare Department in the past for financing these shelter homes have been around Rs 2 crore and more, the Finance Department has always raised an objection and the budget has been sanctioned for Rs 1.60 crore or near about that. Even the amount which has been sanctioned and approved by the Finance Department has not been released. For the present financial year, i.e. 2021-22, no reasonable explanation has come forward from learned counsel RKD Choudhury who represents the Social Welfare Department or learned counsel A Chaliha who represents the Finance Department," the Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak stated.
"We pass an interim mandamus directing the Social Welfare Department to arrange finances for these three shelter homes, at least an interim arrangement be made so that at least for the next two months these shelter homes can run properly. Meanwhile, a detailed proposal by the Social Welfare Department and the opinion or objection, if any, of the Finance Department may be taken so that these shelter homes can run," the order read.