The Supreme Court on Wednesday imposed fine of Rs two lakh each on 11 states and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli for not complying with its order and furnishing details of welfare steps taken to rehabilitate widows in their respective jurisdictions.
Expressing "extreme pain over the little concern shown by the states", a bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta imposed the fine -- to be deposited within four weeks -- after the Centre said that these states and UT did not respond to its two communications.
These states are Uttrakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Mizoram, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Arunachal Pradesh.
The court said: "They have not respond to the Ministry of Women and Child Development's communications will deposit costs of Rs 2 lakh each with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks from today (Wednesday)."
Reprimanding these state for lack of response to the Ministry communication , the bench said: "We are extremely pained to note ... that there is very little concern, if at all, for the welfare of women of the states/UTs."
"There is no use in making grand statements and submissions in favour of gender justice while the state governments and those of UTs do not even have five minutes to respond to the Ministry for the sake of women," the court said
It said the absence of concern is not going to take forward the rights of women in this country.
The court imposed fine of Rs one lakh each on states that did not furnish full details as sought by it.
The court said it hoped all state governments/UTs must, if they have any concern for the welfare of women, to furnish full details to the Centre within three weeks.
The court's orders came on a 2007 PIL by Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation for intervetion for alleviating the plight of widows living in Vrindavan and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and other places.
The court later expanded the scope of the petition to cover the entire country.
The court will hear of the matter on January 30, 2018.