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Facts of the case

  • A petition was filed by one Kush Kalra before the Supreme Court seeking its direction to restrain beggars and other homeless people from begging in public places.
  • The reason attributed to the plea was that such acts would result in an increase in the spread of COVID-19.
  • The petition also sought for the rehabilitation of such people.

Petitioner’s Submission

  • The petitioner has filed the present PIL through Advocate Chinmoy Sharma.
  • The PIL contained two prayers:

I) To restrain beggars and other homeless people from begging at traffic junctions and streets to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
II) To rehabilitate them and to ensure vaccination to protect them from the pandemic.

  • However, the petitioner submitted that the main object of filing the PIL is to seek directions for the second prayer.

Court’s Order

  • The Court did not accept the plea of restraining begging, and therefore it stated that no directions can be passed in this regard.
  • The Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that the problem of begging is a social and economic one, arising out of poverty. The same cannot be solved by stopping it altogether.
  • The Court agreed to the prayer and acknowledged the need for vaccination to such people.
  • The Bench has issued notice to the Union Government and Delhi directing to file a response on how to deal with this situation, and postponed the matter for two weeks.
  • The Court also directed the petitioner to amend the PIL to clarify its view on prayer.

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