NEW DELHI: The newly-constituted special ‘Social Justice Bench’ of the Supreme Court on Friday heard the first batch of petitions, including the ones related to Narmada dam project and shelters for homeless persons, among others. Chief Justice H L Dattu had ordered setting up of the special ‘Social Justice Bench’ for hearing exclusively the cases relating to social issues.
A special Bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice U U Lalit took up the 2002 plea of Narmada Bachao Aandolan and asked the parties, including NBA activist Medha Patkar, to file synopsis by December 24, as it did not want to waste time going through records running into thousands of pages and fixed the hearing on January 9.
Next in line was a 2005 petition filed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram seeking welfare of tribals. The Bench asked the Centre to file a comprehensive affidavit on the issues arising out of the PIL.
The Bench also took serious note of a PIL highlighting as to how exploitation of children in circuses were rampant, despite court banning the same three years ago.