Supreme Court: Issue Aadhaar, voter cards to sex workers

On December 14, 2021, Supreme Court observed that fundamental rights are guaranteed to every citizen irrespective of vocation and directed the central government to start the process of issuing voter ID, Aadhaar and ration cards to sex workers.

Key Points

  • Supreme court also directed centre to keep providing dry ration to sex workers.
  • The bench further directed that, authorities can take assistance from National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and state AIDS control societies while preparing a list of sex workers after verifying information provided by the community-based organisations.
  • It also asked that, status report related to issuance of ration cards, voter ID cards and Aadhaar cards them should be filed within a period of four weeks from the date of direction.
  • State governments and UTs have also been directed to continue distribution of dry ration to sex workers without asking their ration cards and other proofs of identity.

Background

The Supreme Court direction came while hearing a plea filed by NGO ‘Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee’. The plea raised problems faced by sex workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Supreme Court has been passing orders for the welfare of sex workers. On September 29, 2020 court had asked the Centre and others to provide dry ration to them without asking their identity proof.

SC on Providing Ration Cards

In 2011, a bench comprising of justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna had ruled that, Supreme Court direction on providing ration cards to sex workers were passed in 2011. But they are not yet implemented.

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