Human Rights Law Network


High Court at Delhi orders State Government to Improve Living Conditions at Motia Khan Family Shelter, New Delhi

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27th March 2014, NEW DELHI – (PRESS RELEASE)

On 26 March 2014 the Delhi High Court disposed of the Priya Kale vs. Deepak Spolia and Ors., Cont. Cas. (C) 197 of 2013 contempt case and ordered the Delhi Government to ensure hygienic living conditions, continue to provide three meals a day, and provide a room for women’s health checkups. The case was argued by Advocate Divya Jyoti Jaipuriar and focuses on the welfare of pregnant and lactating women in Delhi homeless shelters, with a specific focus on Motia Khan homeless Shelter located in the Paharganj area of Central Delhi.

In January 2013, Priya Kale, a resident of Motia Khan lost her infant daughter, Prithi, to exposure. Priya delivered Prithi on the balcony outside of the Shelter.  She did not receive antenatal care, delivery assistance, post-natal care, or nutritional assistance in the months before and after Prithi was born.  Inadequate nutrition, exposure to the harsh Delhi winter, and insufficient health care directly contributed to Prithi’s death.

Priya Kale filed a petition to improve living conditions at the Shelter, to guarantee access to maternal health care, and to ensure accountability for Prithi’s death.  On 1st February 2013 the Delhi High Court ordered the state to provide heaters, hot water, daily meals, and maternal health services to the shelter residents in  Priya Kale vs. Government of NCT Delhi and Ors., W. P. (C) 641 of 2013. The Respondents failed to implement the Hon’ble High Court’s orders and Priya Kale filed the contempt petition, now disposed of, to ensure immediate improvements at the Shelter. As an immediate result of the contempt petition, the Court demanded compliance, and the Respondents complied.

The Court on Wednesday ordered the Respondents to ensure that the shelter is adequately cleaned, to ensure hygienic living conditions for the 400 residents, to continue providing three meals every day, and to designate a small room or private curtained off area with a bed and basin for pregnant and lactating women to have health check ups with some privacy.

The Writ Petition case Priya Kale vs. Government of NCT Delhi and Ors., W. P. (C) 641 of 2013 will be heard on 4 July 2014.

For additional information, please contact Maya Sikand at mayasikand.hrln@gmail.com.  

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HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.