The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has granted six more weeks to government to implement State Marriage Assistance Scheme (SMAS) and HUNAR for poor girls.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation on rehabilitation of poor girls in J&K, a division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey granted further time for implementation of the schemes after state's counsel requested for the same.
The Court, however, directed Commissioner Secretary Social Welfare Department to appear in person on next date of hearing, if government failed to file compliance report.
Meanwhile, the Court directed the government to conduct another survey to identify the girls who are living Below Poverty Line. It, however said the exercise shall not be taken as an excuse for stopping grant of benefits being given to the already identified girls.
The directions followed after a girl, Salma, appeared before the Court with a submission that earlier survey conducted by the government and its authorities was not fool proof. The Court took on record the application in which particulars of some girls seeking assistance under the schemes were given.
In November last year, the government had informed the Court that Rs 596. 35 lakh as assistance was released in favor of 1495 identified girls whose cases were recommended by the sanctioning authorities till October 26, 2016.
In its compliance report, the government had also revealed that 951 cases were received by the Social Welfare Department from various sanctioning authorities under SAMS and the department was under the process for disbursement of financial assistance to the extent of Rs 378 Lakh.
The court was also informed that the Social Welfare Department through line departments had got 4972 girls who were trained under the Scheme "HUNAR" till October 26, 2016.
Senior counsel Bashir Ahmad Bashir assisted the court as Amicus Curie.