Need system in place to manage night shelters: Delhi high court
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said a system should be put in place for the maintenance of night shelters run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), while stating that there is a lack of communication protocol between All India Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Delhi government.
A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said this could be solved by appointing nodal officers.
The court issued the order after the AIIMS counsel told the court that none of the 22 outstation patients staying in the night shelter outside the hospital, who had tested Covid positive, ever came to the hospital.
The Delhi government counsel had told the court that due to the inability to contact AIIMS authorities at the relevant time, the patients were shifted to Lok Nayak hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute.
The court was hearing a plea by a lawyer Karan Seth through his advocate Arjun Sayal, who sought better facilities for outstation patients who have been residing in the night shelter outside the hospital.
On Wednesday, the court was shown videos and photographs of the night shelter, following which the court said the allegations of the petitioner were “correct”.
The court, expressing displeasure, said even though “it appeared that after its last order, senior officials of DUSIB and the chief secretary of Delhi took corrective steps, there is apprehension that the situation may go back to what it was once the court stops monitoring it.
It noted that though DUSIB claimed it is maintaining entry registers but these may not be maintained with any regularity or seriousness”.
The bench said several NGOs and social workers are offering social service only for the love of mankind at such like night shelters.
“They would be, obviously, interested in seeing that such like facilities are run efficiently and the occupants are provided the facilities and services necessary to maintain human dignity…..We, therefore, direct DUSIB to accredit NGOs and individual social workers who are associated with the night shelters, and to involve NGOs and individual social workers in the matter of supervision of such night shelters,” the court said.
It directed DUSIB to ensure only patients and their immediate attendants are permitted to occupy the night shelters at AIIMS, and other night shelters in the vicinity of other government hospitals in Delhi.
“All other occupants, who are not receiving treatment at the government hospital concerned, should be shifted to the other night shelters managed by DUSIB,” the bench said, posting the matter for June 10.