SC seeks Centre, Delhi replies on rehab, vaccine for beggars

The bench was hearing a plea which sought directions to “restrain beggars and vagabonds/ homeless from begging at traffic junctions, markets and public places to avoid the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in all the States and UTs across India” and for “rehabilitating them”.

The Supreme Court Tuesday said it “will not take an elitist view” and restrain beggars from public spaces to prevent the spread of Covid-19, saying it is a socio-economic problem.

“A large number of people, including children, are compelled to be on the streets to beg … This is a socio-economic issue and cannot be remedied by a direction of the nature that is sought in prayer (a)…” a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said.

The bench was hearing a plea which sought directions to “restrain beggars and vagabonds/ homeless from begging at traffic junctions, markets and public places to avoid the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in all the States and UTs across India” and for “rehabilitating them”.

The bench, however, issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on the prayer to rehabilitate beggars and to provide them vaccination.

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