MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT GOT APPROVAL FROM SC TO USE RS. 25 CRORES FOR COVID ORPHANS
The plan submitted by Maharashtra Government got the approval of the Supreme Court 'to provide one-time financial assistance of ₹10,000 to every child in the state who lost both or either parents due to Covid-19 to help meet their educational expenses such as school fee, hostel fee, and purchase of educational material.'
The plan came in response to a court order of September 13 when the State Government was informed about ₹25 crores lying with the Supreme Court registry. The money was to be returned to the state government under a December 2016 order on the condition that it must be utilized for “issues of juvenile justice”.
'In Maharashtra, 20,407 children lost one of their parents due to Covid-19 since April 2020; another 635 lost both parents. The court wanted the state government to come out with a plan to utilize the amount for the benefit of Covid-affected children.'
For the state, advocate Sachin Patil submitted an affidavit by principal secretary, women and child development indicating three options. Of them, the bench comprising of Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice BV Nagarathna zeroed in on the option that spoke about transferring ₹25.53 crores into the Juvenile Justice Fund that will give the money to affected children to meet their educational expenses such as school fees, hostel fees, and educational material and equipment.
“This option will be beneficial from all perspectives,” the bench said, noting that the district task force will be given the responsibility to distribute the amount after scrutinizing need-based applications, following which a report will be submitted to the women and child development commissioner at Pune. Satisfied with the state’s plan, the bench directed the release of the money to the Juvenile Justice Fund.