A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice A.P. Lavande and Justice U.V.Bakre today adjourned by three weeks hearing on the petition challenging the manner in which the Laadli Laxmi Scheme was being implemented.
The government in its affidavit has also informed the High Court that a notification has been issued that besides MLA/ MP, the application forms could now be signed before a Government officer not below the rank of Additional/ Special Secretary or the District Magistrate.
The affidavit further states that initially 4000 forms were printed and distributed to the Ministers and MLAs at the hands of the Minister for Women and Child development at the time of launching of the Laadli Laxmi Scheme while another 16000 forms have been now ordered to be printed.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues today drew the attention of the Court and strongly objected to the statement made by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on the floor of the Goa Legislative Assembly on 20th July 2012 that forms signed by MLAs will be accepted directly without any other verification.
The Court allowed Adv. Rodrigues to amend the petition by placing on record the transcript of the proceedings of the Goa Legislative Assembly to the effect that such a statement was in fact made by the Chief Minister.
The Petitioner Steffi Fernandes represented by Adv. Aires Rodrigues has challenged before the High Court the availability of the Laadli Laxmi application forms only with MLAs and the requirement that the form had to be signed before an MLA or MP.
The petitioner has submitted that though the Laadli Laxmi Scheme was for the benefit of a girl child born in Goa that the application forms were not available with the Directorate of Women and Child Development as all the forms had been taken by the ruling party MLA’s with none available for the general public.
Pleading that the requirement that the form be signed only before an MLA or MP be declared void being opposed to public policy and the rule of law, the petitioner has submitted that such a requirement was for a political and malafide purpose being destructive to the very rule of law and transparency in dealing with citizens.
While praying for further directions to the Government to accept and process in the same manner all forms under the Laadli Laxmi Scheme whether or not signed before an MLA or MP, the petition also seeks directives to the government to desist from inserting such a requirement of signature before an MLA or MP in forms of future schemes.