The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered states and Union Territories to immediately begin the process of issuing voter IDs, ration cards and Aadhaar numbers to sex workers, The Hindu reported. The court observed that all citizens are guaranteed their fundamental rights irrespective of their profession.
“There is a bounden duty on the government to provide basic amenities to the citizens of the country,” a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said.
The bench noted that the Supreme Court had in 2011 directed states and Union Territories to issue ration cards and identity cards to sex workers, PTI reported. “...There is no reason as to why such directions are not implemented till now,” the court said.
The Supreme Court added that state administrations can take the help of the National AIDS Control Organisation and state AIDS control societies to facilitate the benefits for sex workers. The court said that these organisations could prepare a list of sex workers after verifying information given to them by community-based organisations.
The court directed states and Union Territories to file status reports on the matter in four weeks.