Priya Kale vs. Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and Others [ W.P. (C) 641 of 2013 ]

Country India
Category Right to Food, Right to Health
Date of Judgment 01-02-2013
Link / Attachment
  • Description

    Mrs. Priya Kale, twenty-five years old, gave birth to her daughter, Preeti, on 25 October 2012. She did not deliver at a hospital, but instead delivered in an unsanitary public place without privacy or medical supervision. On 6th January 2013, Preeti, only two months old, passed away. On 15th January, the Times of India reported on Priya’s current status and Preeti’s death. The article explained that Priya was “inconsolable[,] grief stricken.” Priya Kale lost her daughter as a result of the poor living conditions and inadequate nutrition at Motia Khan. She filed a petition.

    This judgement is an important and necessary development for Priya Kale, who has lived at Motia Khan for the last three years with her husband, two young sons, and late daughter. Residents at Motia Khan live in dirty, open spaces without privacy, adequate bathroom facilities or a communal kitchen. There are no female showering areas so that women are forced to shower in the men’s bathroom fully clothed. The shelter is riddled with cockroaches, mice, and stray dogs that share the resident’s living space. Substantial improvements are imperative if New Delhi is to meet the needs of its homeless population.

    Pryia Kale’s grim reality illustrates fundamental rights violations faced by marginalized homeless women in Delhi. According to the Indo-Global Social Service Society, New Delhi’s public parks, pavements, flyovers, and railway stations are currently home to over 150,000 people.


  • Judgment

    The High Court of Delhi issued an order mandating the respondents in individual petition to immediately implement the petitioner’s interim prayers for three meals per day, heaters and geysers to withstand Delhi winters, and medical care for pregnant women living at the Motia Khan family shelter.

    The Hon’ble Court relied on orders issued in PUCL vs. Union of India (W.P. (C) 196 of 2001), and suo moto W.P. (C) 5913 of 2010, both of which touch upon New Delhi’s homeless population, especially homeless children and pregnant and lactating women.

    (Excerpt from the Judgement)

    In the meanwhile, respondents shall ensure that:

      I. The blowers/heaters as well as geysers are provided in the aforementioned shelter homes

      II. In case, anyone of the inhabitants of the shelter homes is due to deliver within next three weeks, or thereafter, intimation will be given to the nearest MCD hospital. The manager of the shelter homes shall ensure that such a person is transported, if necessary, to the nearest hospital where medical facilities are available, as advised by the doctor of the MCD hospital.

    III. The respondent shall ensure adequate provisions are made for food keeping in mind the population of inhabitants in each of the shelter homes. The provisioning would factor in that the inhabitants will have to be provided three meals a day,that is breakfast, lunch and dinner.