Thursday, September 15, 2011

Provide ration and voter cards to sex workers - Fundamental Rights Identical To Other Citizens: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday recommended to the Centre and state governments to provide ration and voter cards to sex workers by relaxing the verification procedure and without mentioning their profession in it. 
   Taking into account several recommendations of its expert panel headed by senior advocate Pradip Ghosh, a bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra asked the authorities and the Election Commission not to insist on strict proof of address and profession of sex workers while issuing them the cards that would facilitate their buying cheap ration and cast vote.
   They too enjoy the fundamental rights guaranteed to other citizens, the bench said and impressed on the governments to earnestly attempt to implement the panel’s recommendations, which also included:
   Ensuring admission of the children of sex workers in appropriate classes in government or municipal schools
   Extending technical/vocational training to all sex workers and not restricting it only to rescued women
   The bench headed by Justice Katju had converted a criminal appeal in a case relating to a sex worker’s murder into a PIL and set up a panel headed by Ghosh which included representatives of NGOs working for the rehabilitation of women willing to give up prostitution.
   The bench fixed November 15 for the next hearing on the matter and asked the governments to tell the court the difficulties, if any, in the implementation of the recommendations made by the panel. But, the next hearing will be before another bench as Justice Katju would retire on September 20.

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