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Top court sends notice to Centre, states on PIL seeking rights and reservation for orphans on par with SC/STs

The PIL sought judicial intervention in ensuring right to life, right to education and right to equality specifically for children who are orphans and all children in need of care and protection.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2018 23:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Orphans,Orphans in India
A public interest litigation in the Supreme Court sought rights for orphans stating they are as deserving, if not more, as any OBC, SC/ST child with parents.(Reuters File Photo/Representative image)

Should orphans be given same reservation benefits in educational institutions and government jobs that are extended to those belonging to the SC/ST and OBC category?

The Supreme Court agreed to examine this question and issued notice to the Centre seeking its response to the plea which has also sought provision of other benefits to the orphans, including bank loans and incentives for setting up businesses.

The notice came on a PIL filed by Uttar Pradesh resident Poulomi Pavini Shukla, who said the state should assume the role of parents for orphans, whose antecedents are unknown. Orphans were “unjustly” and “forcibly given” a religion and a caste by the government which goes to their detriment.

Shukla wants a comprehensive census or sample survey of children in need of care and protection. This, she said, is essential to fix the numbers and targets and outlays in government schemes as well as outline the extent of the problem.

“Issue a direction to the government to have a policy for assigning religion to orphans and ensure that orphan children are given the right to choose their religion upon attaining majority and are not under duress of any kind to choose a specific religion,” the plea said.

State is bound to provide adequate measures for the orphans for their survival and empowerment, and opportunities so that they can compete on an equal footing with others, the PIL said.

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 21:31 IST