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SC takes exception to Maha CS "outbursts" seeks explanation

The Supreme Court on Friday took strong exception to the reported remarks of Maharashtra Chief Secretary J J Dange that beggars/destitutes from outside can go back to their native states and government was not obliged to implement all court directives.

The apex court said if such remarks were made they amounted to contempt.

A bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma asked the state government counsel Sanjay Karde to bring to the state Chief Minister's notice the purported remarks and file an affidavit within three weeks whether such utterances had been made.

"Homeless people are outsiders and not from the state of Maharashtra. They should go back to their respective states. We cannot implement all directives from the court. The issue of homeless is not so important. There are many directives in waiting and this one is just an addition. Don't care much about it," the chief secretary is reported to have told an NGO when it sought shelter for the destitutes in pursuant of the apex court's earlier direction.

The apex court passed the direction after senior counsel Colin Gonzalves, appearing for PUCL which filed the PIL on shelter facilities for the homeless in the country, brought to the court's notice the chief secretary's alleged remarks.

Karde told the court that he would seek instructions from the government on the issue and file the affidavit by three weeks.

The apex court had earlier passed a series of directions to states for setting up night shelters and permanent shelters for the homeless throughout the country following reports that a number of them have died due to the biting cold wave conditions.


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