A Delhi court administration’s controversial fiat that children of non-judicial members can avail its crèche facility only if they are “neat and clean” and “free from disease” has triggered outrage, with many calling the order discriminatory and demeaning.
Court employees were ticked off by the circular issued last week that also said their children would be allowed only if the children of judicial officers were not present in the nursery.
“All the judicial officers and ministerial staff of both districts, North West and North, having female children of age group 2.5 years to 12 years and male children of age group 2.5 years to 9 years may avail crèche facility located at 3rd floor at Rohini Courts complex,” said the notice signed by district and sessions judges Pradeep Chaddah and Yogesh Khanna. “However, the children of staff would be allowed if the children of judicial officers are not available and provided the children are neat and clean, hygiene is maintained and are free from disease.”
A court official, however, said on Monday the circular was not phrased appropriately and the rules were the same for the children of judges and other staff members.
“We cannot compromise on hygiene and health. These guidelines are for all the children (using the crèche). It’s just that the circular was not happily worded. It may have been some oversight,” he said.
Court complexes in the city are setting up crèches and day-care centres in a bid to make life easier for the thousands of practising female lawyers and judicial officers in Delhi. The Supreme Court, too, cleared a proposal to start a crèche on its grounds this year.
The court official said the inaccurate phrasing of the circular could be the fault of a staff member and a remedial measure was already underway.
“An official clarification on this matter is likely to be issued on Tuesday,” he said.