PeoplećS Union for Civil Liberties Vs. Union of India & Ors  Insc 1161 (20 November 2007)
Arijit Pasayat & S.H. Kapadia
NOS. 34, 35, 37, 40, 49, 54, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62 & 77 IN WRIT PETITION (C)
NO. 196 OF 2001 WITH SUO MOTO CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NO. 128 OF 2007
IN W.P. (C) NO.196 OF 2001 IN RE: CHIEF SECRETARY STATE OF BIHAR AND 4 ORS. Dr.
ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
this order two IAs. No.37 of 2004 and No.54 of 2005 stand disposed of. IA No.37
of 2004 is an application by the Union of India for permission to modify the
National Maternity Benefit Scheme (in short NMBS) and to introduce a
new scheme called the Janani Suraksha Yojana (in short JSY). IA No.54
of 2005 is an application by the petitioner questioning legality of the
discontinuation of the benefit under the NMBS due to introduction of JSY. By
order dated 27.4.2004 this Court directed as follows:
Schemein particular.National Maternity Benefit Scheme shall be discontinued or
restricted in any way without prior approval of the Court.
Again by order dated 9.5.2005 this Court directed as follows:
LA 37, permission is sought to modify The National Maternity Benefit Scheme
(NMBC) and to introduce a new scheme namely Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY).
Whereas in IA 54, the prayer is that the Scheme should not be modified by
reducing, abridging or qualifying in any way the social assistance entitlements
created under the original scheme of NMBS for expecting BPL mothers, including
rash entitlement of Rs.500/- provided therein. We have requested learned
Additional Solicitor General to place on record further material in the form of
affidavit to effectively implement the new Scheme sought to be introduced. The
further material shall include the approximate distance of Public Health Centre
from the residential complexes and the facility of transportation etc. The
Commissioner shall also examine the matter in depth and file a report. The
response to the application may be filed within eight weeks. Meanwhile, the
existing National Maternity Benefit Scheme will continue.
government set a numerical ceiling of 57.5 lakh beneficiaries as the annual
target for NMBS. However, the number of beneficiaries under JSY in 2006-07 was
only 26.2 lakh i.e. 45.5% and in the year 2005-06 this was as low as 5.7 lakh
i.e. 10%. While there has been an improvement in the last one year, the
coverage under this scheme is still way below the target number of women to be
covered by the NMBS.
According to the Union of India the JSY was introduced to put a premium on the
willingness of poor women to go in for institutional delivery instead of home
delivery. But it was recognized that in States with lower institutional
delivery rates, one of the reasons for low performance have been lesser
availabilities of facilities in the Health Centres, which act as disincentive
for the poor illiterate women to seek the services.
Pursuant to the order of this Court dated 9.5.2005 the Commissioner had
prepared a report.
After discussions with the Commissioner appointed by this Court, senior
officials, the Central Government took a decision to modify the JSY Scheme to
continue benefits of NMBS and also to improve upon such benefits for non-
institutional delivery, where the woman chooses to deliver her baby at home. In
this connection, a letter dated 13.7.2006 was written to the Commissioner by
the Secretary health and Family Welfare under the amended JSY. The Low Performing States and High Performing States were defined as follows:
The scheme focuses on the poor pregnant woman with special dispensation for
states having low institutional delivery rates namely the States of Uttar
Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Rajasthan, Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir. While these states have been named as Low Performing
States (LPS), the remaining states have been named as High Performing States
table below gives details of the number of beneficiaries under JSY (all these
would have received the Rs.500/- under NMBS irrespective of place of delivery) vis-a-
vis the annual targets set by the Government of India for NMBS.
of Eligible Beneficiaries Covered Under NMBS State/UT No. of Women eligible for
NMBS No. of Beneficiaries in 2006-07 Percentage of Eligible Beneficiari es
covered Andhra Pradesh 296033 457000 154.4 Rajasthan 280123 387648 138.4 J
& K 50494 57798 114.5 Assam 182894 183231 100.2 Orissa 264249 227204 86.0
Madhya Pradesh 472840 401184 84.8 Mizoram 4429 3330 75.2 Chattisgarh 148876
74778 50.2 Uttaranchal 37117 18614 50.1 West Bengal 425520 199000 46.8 Tamil Nadu
301676 136091 45.1 Karnataka 289339 81152 28.0 A & N Islands 2295 600 26.1 Kerala
107602 27683 25.7 Bihar 732891 171352 23.4 Puducherry 6446 1315 20.4 Gujarat
212845 42373* 20.0 Punjab 41297 8276 20.0 Maharashtra 529777 97390 18.4 Tripura
20601 3203 15.5 Manipur 11112 1684 15.2 Goa 3188 483 15.1 Lakshadweep 333 42
12.6 Sikkim 4598 446 9.7 Meghalaya 22768 2031 8.9 Himachal Pradesh 29222 2508
8.6 Uttar Pradesh 1073341 71456 6.7 Haryana 92856 3294 3.5 D & N Haveli
3850 76 2.0 Chandigarh 2108 0 0.0 Delhi 42447 20 0.0 Arunachal Pradesh 10399 NR
NR Daman & Diu 632 NR NR Jharkhand 208592 NR NR Nagaland 12763 NR NR
Total-India 5925554 2618889 44.2
scheme as the details above go to show has virtually not taken off in many
states. Delhi has given the benefit under the
NMBS to only 20 women in 2006-07, while in Chandigarh the number of beneficiaries is 0. In Sikkim, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Dadar
& Nagar Haveli less than even 10% of the eligible beneficiaries have been
covered under the NMBS. Except for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu &
Kashmir, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh, Assam, Orissa and Mizoram where more than
75% of the eligible beneficiaries seem to have been reached out to, the
performance of this scheme has been very poor in all other states.
below are percentage of Home delivery figures State/UT % Home delivery reported
out of JSY beneficiaries (2006- 07) % Home delivery in the State (NFHS 3) Assam
4.4 77 Madhya Pradesh 0.9 70 Haryana 0.0 61 Rajasthan 13.5 68 Manipur 0.0 51
Delhi 0.0 39 Meghalaya 41.4 70 Orissa 33.3 61 Chattisgarh 59.2 84 Sikkim 44.8
51 Tamil Nadu 5.7 10 Bihar 75.9 78 Karnataka 37.6 33 Kerala 5.2 0 Mizoram 44.1
35 Tripura 60.5 51 Uttar Pradesh 90.2 78 Uttaranchal 96.9 64 Punjab 82.9 47 Maharashtra
86.0 34 Goa 67.9 7
the States of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Manipur and Delhi there are almost no JSY
beneficiaries who had a home delivery. This indicates that in these States the
schemes focus continues to be only on institutional deliveries and not all
deliveries. Even in the States of Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Orissa and Chhattisgarh
the JSY has been disproportionately given to only those who have had
this juncture, the financial performance needs to be noted.
The Janani Suraksha Yojana is a centrally-sponsored scheme with the centre
providing 100% of the funds. Some States e.g. Andhra Pradesh make their own
contribution thereby increasing the amount of cash assistance for institutional
deliveries. Tamil Nadu has introduced a separate scheme for providing mothers
with Rs.1000/- per month for six months i.e. three months prior to the delivery
and three months after. Given below are the details of allocation and
utilization of the funds provided by the Central Government.
Out of the funds provided for JSY for 2006-07, about 71.2% of the funds
allocated have been utilized in the year 2006-07.
of funds allocated by JSY Rs. In lakhs Name of the State/UTs Funds released in
2006-07 Expenditure Reported by States % Utilization Andaman & Nicobar
Island 10.00 1.99 19.9 Andhra Pradesh 4073.20 4550.00 111.7 Arunachal Pradesh
26.20 0.31 1.2 Assam 1300.00 1331.32 102.4 Bihar 610.00 190.00 31.1 Chandigarh
5.23 0.00 0.0 Chattisgarh 513.00 516.55 100.7 D & N Haveli 9.17 0.73 8.0
Daman & Diu 5.23 0.00 0.0 Delhi 65.49 0.20 0.3 Goa 7.86 3.38 43.0 Gujarat
851.85 185.56 21.8 Haryana 350.00 39.11 11.2 Himachal Pradesh 100.00 20.66 20.7
J & K 138.33 123.84 89.5 Jharkhand 392.89 64.67 16.5 Karnataka 916.00
594.02 64.8 Kerala 511.94 284.45 55.6 Lakshadweep 4.38 0.31 7.1 Madhya Pradesh
4261.00 2482.00 58.2 Maharashtra 785.79 209.07 26.6 Manipur 78.57 13.45 17.1 Meghalaya
39.29 42.75 108.8 Mizoram 78.57 37.27 47.4 Nagaland 65.49 0.00 0.0 Orissa
1600.00 1571.31 98.2 Pondicherry 19.64 6.10 31.1 Punjab 145.37 56.84 39.1
Rajasthan 4085.00 3056.35 74.8 Sikkim 13.10 7.46 56.9 Tamil Nadu 1827.00
1441.00 78.9 Tripura 117.86 43.70 37.1 Uttar Pradesh 1375.00 436.80 31.8 Uttranchal
79.56 56.06 70.5 West Bengal 1678.99 1233.67 73.5 Total 26141.00 18600.93 71.2
Looking at the State-wise break-up it is seen that states like Delhi, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh,
and union territories of Chandigarh and Daman & Diu have not at all
utilized the funds allocated to them for the purpose of JSY.
other states, Manipur, Jharkhand and Haryana utilized less than 20% of the
funds released to them. Only 10 states spent more than 70% of the funds
allocated to them under JSY.
the time of hearing of the applications, learned counsel for the petitioner and
the Union of India highlighted various aspects. Considering the submissions and
the material data placed on record we direct as follows:-
The Union of India and all the State Governments and the Union Territories shall
continue with the NMBS and
that all BPL pregnant women get cash assistance 8- 12 weeks prior to the
The amount shall be Rs.500/- per birth irrespective of number of children and
the age of the woman.
The Union of India, State Governments and the Union Territories shall file
affidavits within 8 weeks from today indicating the total number of births in
the State, number of eligible BPL women who have received the benefits, number
of BPL women who had home/non-institutional deliveries and have received the
benefit, number of BPL women who had institutional deliveries and have received
The total number of resources allocated and utilized for the period 2000-2006.
All concerned Governments are directed to regularly advertise the revised
scheme so that the intended beneficiaries can become aware of the scheme.
The Central Government shall ensure that the money earmarked for the scheme is
not utilized for any other purpose. The mere insistence on utilization
certificate may not yield the expected result.
shall be the duty of all the concerned to ensure that the benefits of the
scheme reach the intended beneficiaries. In case it is noticed that there is
any diversion of the funds allocated for the scheme, such stringent action as
is called for shall be taken against the erring officials responsible for
diversion of the funds.
this juncture it would be necessary to take note of certain connected issues
which have relevance. It seems from the scheme that irrespective of number of
children, the beneficiaries are given the benefit. This in a way goes against
the concept of family planning which is intended to curb the population growth.
Further the age of the mother is a relevant factor because women below a
particular age are prohibited from legally getting married. The Union of India
shall consider this aspect while considering the desirability of the
continuation of the scheme in the present form. After considering the aforesaid
aspects and if need be, necessary amendments may be made.
The IAs are accordingly disposed of.