Apex court orders funds for panel on sex workers


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the central government to provide a permanent office and funds to a panel set up by it for educating people and to train manpower for the rescue and rehabilitation of sex workers.

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The apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra issued the direction after the panel submitted an interim report seeking institutional and financial support.

“We direct the central government and the state governments to provide funds as prayed for by the panel in its report after discussion with chairman of the panel Pradip Ghosh, and other members,” the court said.

The panel headed by senior counsel Ghosh includes senior counsel Jayant Bhushan and three NGOs Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Usha Multipurpose Co-operative Society and Roshni. The panel was set up by the court July 19.

The court asked Ghosh to include representatives from Mumbai and Chennai in the panel.

The panel’s interim report sought directions to the central government to make necessary funds available for holding workshops and meetings to be attended by experts, resource persons and travel expenses.

The report also sought funds for placing advertisements in media for inviting responses from social organisations.

Expressing its dissatisfaction with the affidavits filed by the state governments giving details of the schemes being implemented for sex workers, the court said that the states should “demonstrate their commitment to cause by coming out with concrete results”.

“We are fully conscious of the fact that simply by our orders the sex workers in our country will not be rehabilitated immediately. It will take long time, but we have to work patiently in this direction,” the court said.

Justice Misra said: “We will like to see which is the first state that would come and say that they have rescued and rehabilitated at least 10 sex workers.”