BHOPAL: The Supreme Court has slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on Madhya Pradesh for failing to provide requisite information to the Union government regarding rehabilitation of orphans and widows in the state. Madhya Pradesh happens to be one of the 11 states in the country to have been fined for laxity.
Principal secretary of woman and child development department J N Kansotia agreed that SC had imposed Rs two lakh on Madhya Pradesh for not responding to the letters issued by Union ministry of women and child development as per the SC order. However, he claimed that the MP government had submitted the requisite reports on time, but due to some ‘confusion’ it did not reach the apex court. “We had submitted the report as required by the committee, but unfortunately it didn’t reach the Supreme Court due to some confusion. We are writing to Union government to review it,” said Kansotia.
Government sources said that the state has to deposit the fine amount with Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks, the deadline of which ends on January 5. “Other states that have been slapped fine are Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Mizoram, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Punjab,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.
He said the department received an official notice on December 8 regarding the issue which was raised in a PIL filed by an NGO on how girls under 18 could be married and shunned by their families. “The department also received a letter of warning earlier as many defaulting states had failed to give requisite information to a six-member committee constituted by the apex court to study reports about the condition of widows,” he added.
The apex court had formed a committee to furnish a report to the court, which could give a fair idea about what the state has been doing to rehabilitate widows and orphans. The top court had also directed the state government to furnish the required information to Union ministry of woman and child development within three weeks, the deadline for which ends on December 25.