“Immediate issuance of Ration, Voter, and Aadhar card to sex worker across nation”; S.C. reprimands and directs government
The Supreme Court of India has passed directions to the Central government, the State Governments, and Union Territories to begin the process of issuing Ration cards, Voter cards, and Aadhar Cards to sex workers and continue the process of providing them with dry ration, this decision was followed by the observation that fundamental rights of every citizen of India irrespective of any vocation they follow are guaranteed by the constitution of India.
Last year, on September 29, the Supreme Court had heard a plea petition raising the problems faced by sex workers in the pandemic period; the Central government and others had been directed by the top court to provide dry ration to the sex workers without insisting on any identity proof.
In the year 2011, the top court had given directions for providing ration cards to sex workers, but their non-implementation of this verdict was rued by a bench comprising of Justices BV Nagarathna, L Nageswara Rao, and BR Gavai. The Bench further stated that the issue of ration cards and identity cards to sex workers by directions passed to the State government and UTs is almost a decade old.
The Bench of above mentioned comprised justices now ordered that the Central government and State governments, and other authorities be given directions to begin the process of the issuance of Aadhar Cards, Voter ID Cards, and Ration Cards with immediate effect as the fundamental rights is guaranteed by the constitution of India to every citizen of this nation irrespective vocation followed by any individual of any gender.
The Bench advised the authorities to involve National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and State AIDS Control Societies so that the authorities will receive assistance in preparing a list of sex workers after proper verification of the information provided by community-based organizations.
It was further by the Bench that the status report of the issuance of all these cards to the sex workers will be finalized in four weeks from now, but all authorities have been directed to continue distribution of dry ration to the sex workers without insisting on any proof of identity till the above cards are issued.
Copies of the order of the top court will be sent to State and District Legal Service authorities for all necessary action while the government has been directed to keep the identity and names of the sex workers under confidentiality while preparing these various ID cards.
The petition plea heard by the Supreme Court had been filed by NGO ‘Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee highlighting issues faced by these sex workers due to pandemic outbreak and requested measures of relief of over 9 lakh female and transgender sex worker community across the whole nation.