The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the city government why it has been providing free water and electricity to those who can afford it but not providing financial assistance to poor people suffering from AIDS.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar slammed the Delhi government on the issue and said: "Don't pretend to be doing social service when you are not doing."
"People who own properties... you are giving them free water and electricity. They can afford it and don't need it (free things). Be realistic and reasonable. If you do not have money, then do not give things free to people," said the bench.
The court's observation came on a PIL initiated by it after receiving a letter from an acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS) victim. The victim wrote a letter seeking enhancement of pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000.
The bench questioned the basis of giving mere amount of Rs 1,000 per month to such people, saying the amount was not even Rs 100 per day.
The court asked the Delhi government to consider providing them minimum wages because they were the ones who actually needed financial assistance as their families were dependent on them.
After the Delhi government told the court that the issue was under consideration, it sought the outcome of the consideration and posted the matter for March 14, the next date of hearing.