CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the authorities concerned to ensure that basic facilities such as water, electricity, food and medical assistance are given to the inmates of old age and children homes.
These essential services would pave the way for a dignified life to the senior citizens and children in the homes. Punitive action such as cancellation of registration and closure for the deficiencies would not help. On the other hand, it would create more problems, the second bench of Justices Vineet Kothari and C V Karthikeyan said on Tuesday.
The bench made the observation when a public interest litigation seeking to implement a GO of the Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme department dated November 23, 2016 in its letter and spirit came up.
Petitioner alleged that the promoters of the homes charged exorbitant fees without providing the minimum facilities, as prescribed in the 2016 GO. One such home is Tapovan in Coimbatore, where about 80 senior citizens have been admitted.
The bench said that the old age homes in Coimbatore were facing difficulties and the inmates appear to be facing quite a great amount of discomfort. In the absence of proper supervision, inspection, regulation and provision of the requisite facilities in such homes, the complaints have reached the stage of, not a public interest litigation (PIL), but a contempt petition.
The matter was adjourned to March 19 when the authorities shall file the status report with photographs.