DELHI: The Delhi High Court expressed displeasure over the state government for not distributing sanitary napkins to girl students of government and government-aided schools under its Kishori Yojana. The facility was discontinued in January 2021, due to the expiry of the contract with the service provider.
The Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta observed,
“Mere absence of a running contract is not sufficient to discontinue social measure of the kind noticed above. The Delhi government should evolve a policy to deal with a situation whenever an existing contract lapses its time or is terminated.”
The bench said it is always open to the government to make procurement at approved rates on GeM portal, an e-marketplace hosted by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, where common user goods and services can be procured.
The development ensued in public interest litigation preferred by NGO Social Jurist through Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Utkarsh Kumar, stating that the issue is important from the perspective of maintaining personal hygiene and general health.
Govt counsel Adv SK Tripathi informed the court that a suggestion was put forth before the state government to extend the contract of the existing contractor until the tender process is completed. Subsequently, a fresh tender has been issued and the process is likely to be finalized by July, before the reopening of the schools after a summer break.