Supreme Court sets up bench for social justice

It will hear cases related to social issues every Friday

Supreme Court sets up bench for social justice

Chief Justice of India H L Dattu has for the first time set up a special two-judge bench to deal with cases relating to “social justice.”

A “social justice” bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit will meet every Friday from 2 pm from December 12 to handle public interest litigations and other petitions.

Issues ranging from the availability of night shelters for the homeless to whether children in government schools are being provided free midday meals and the efficacy of the public distribution system, which is meant to provide poor families access to subsidised food grain, will be covered.

The social justice bench will be the second specialised bench apart from the green bench that tackles cases arising out of unmindful exploitation of forest, environment pollution and illegal mining among others.

 “The Constitutional mechanism has to play proactive role to meet the goals of the Constitution, which in its Preamble assured the people social, economic and political justice,” a senior official said.

The bench  will ensure effective monitoring of the steps taken by state governments for securing safe life to its citizens. It will handle all public interest cases, including hygienic drinking water, prevention of untimely death of women and children for want of nutritious food and secured living conditions for those forced into prostitution.

Over 60 fresh cases have been identified for consideration before the new bench.
“Several cases relating to the domain of social justice are pending for several years.
Chief Justice of India H L Dattu is of the view that these cases shall be given a specialised approach for their early disposal so that the masses will realise the fruits of the rights provided to them by the Constitution,”  the official said.

The provision of medical facilities to all citizens irrespective of their economic conditions among others are some of the other areas where due emphasise has to be given.The apex court  will monitor the state governments to take up measures for solving the problems.

It has been a practice to constitute a special bench to adjudicate a particular case. But a specialised bench on social justice is an unprecedented move.

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