Submit details on night shelters, survey on urban homeless: HC

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday directed the State government to submit details of night shelters provided across the State and the result of a survey about urban homeless persons.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj issued the direction during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, Karnataka.

As the government has not submitted the details of the survey of urban homeless, the Bench observed that failure to provide basic shelter to urban homeless may amount to violation of the right to life guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

The Bench noted that the Union government had told the apex court that night shelters were required to be set up in all major cities having a population more than 5 lakh, and the State government had assured the apex court on establishing one shelter per one lakh population. Also, the Bench noted that the State government did not submit the data of night shelters set up in Karnataka and the outcome of the survey of urban homeless.

The petitioner had sought direction to the State government to implement the operational guideline of Urban Homeless Shelters issued in 2014 by the Union government while challenging the constitutional validity of some of the provisions of the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act, 1975.

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