New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed anguish over the criticism that it was trying to "run the government", saying the judiciary is blamed if it points out that the executive is not doing its job.
The stinging remarks by the apex court came when it was hearing a matter relating to providing shelter to the urban homeless in the country, during which it took to task Uttar Pradesh government and said "your machinery appears to have failed".
"If you people cannot work, say so, that you are not able to do it," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.
"We are not the executive. You do not do your work and when we say something, we are criticised by everybody in the country that we are trying to run the government, run the country," the bench said.
The court said the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) scheme has existed since 2014 but the Uttar Pradesh government has virtually done nothing.
The bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Uttar Pradesh, that the authorities should keep in mind that this matter related to human beings.
"There are a few things. We are talking about human beings who have no place to stay. Those who have no place to stay have to be given place to live," the court said.
ASG Mehta said the state was alive to the situation and was doing its best to provide shelter to urban homeless.
The court also mulled over the issue of having state-wise committees to deal with the issue relating to urban homeless and implementation of the NULM as suggested by the Centre.
The Centre has suggested to the apex court that it could be appropriate if a two-member committee was appointed in each state to deal with these issues.
On hearing the submissions, the bench asked the Centre to coordinate with the state governments to suggest names of officer, who has retired from the level of secretary at the Centre, a senior official of the urban development department and a member from civil society who is sensitive to the issue. It said the petitioner should suggest the name of one person from the civil society.
The court asked them to do the needful within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on 8 February.
During the hearing, ASG Mehta referred to the vision document prepared by Uttar Pradesh government to deal with the issue of urban homeless and said that as per 2011 census, there were around 1.80 lakh urban homeless in the state.
He said a scientific study was going on to get the latest figure but the vision document has been prepared to keep in mind the data of 1.80 lakh such persons in the state.
The bench also asked the state about the funds given to it by the Centre under the scheme.
Meanwhile, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that the "task was huge" in Uttar Pradesh as till date, the capacity of such shelter homes was only around 7,000 while the requirement was for 1.80 lakh.
Bhushan said the court could appoint a national level committee to look into these issues state-wise and then apprise the top court about it.
However, ASG A N S Nadkarni, representing the Centre, told the bench that they have suggested having state-wise committees.
The apex court had earlier expressed shock that welfare schemes were not being effectively implemented even after spending thousands of crore on them.
The court is first dealing with the status of three states—Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh—among 11 and two Union Territories which have been highlighted by the apex court-appointed committee to oversee implementation of NULM across the country.
The petitioners had earlier referred to the report of the apex court-appointed committee headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Kailash Gambhir and said the number of shelter homes in these states was much less than what was required.
Updated Date: Jan 10, 2018 19:31 PM