Dissatisfied with the cold response shown by the states on its order for putting in place schemes for rehabilitation of sex workers, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set up a five-member committee to assist it in the matter and in issuing the directions to the states and Union Territories from time to time.
The panel will be headed by senior advocate Pradip Ghosh, with advocate Jayant Bhushan and heads of the Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Durbar Mahila Samanway Committee and Roshni, an NGO working for welfare of destitute women as its other members.
While setting up the committee, a bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said the direction was being given by the court in consonance with its February 14 order asking the states and UTs to take steps for rehabilitation of sex workers while invoking the Constitutional provisions of “right to live with dignity” on considering their plight and exploitation. “We may reiterate that this exercise has been done by us because the word ‘life’ in definition of Article 21 of the Constitution has been interpreted in several decisions of Supreme Court to mean a right to live with dignity.”
“If a sex worker is able to earn a livelihood through technical skills rather than by selling her body, she can live with dignity and that is why we have requested all the states and Union Territories to submit schemes for giving technical training to them,” the bench in its order recorded.
The bench passed the direction to appoint the panel after recording the statements of the counsel for almost all the states who sought more time to submit affidavits in response to the court order as none of them came up with any concrete scheme of rehabilitation. Asian Age