Plea for the protection of manual scavengers : Delhi HC

Plea for the protection of manual scavengers : Delhi HC

A PIL was being filled by National Campaign For Dignity and Rights Of Sewerage and Allied Workers in the Delhi High Court and prayed that even after coming up of Prohibition Of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act 2013 the employment for the job of manual scavengers has been increasing day by day. Even the government and municipal bodies are engaging humans to do the work of manual scavenging which should actually be done by the machines. Even after the issuance of notice by the Delhi Government to conduct proper and complete identification of manual scavengers, local bodies are still acting in derogation of these directions given in the notice.

The court consisting of division bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice Jyoti Singh observed that so many deaths keep taking place as these people have to clear the septic tan ks and do other hazardous activities without any protection gears or preventive safety devices. This means that many private employers who hire manual scavengers have no idea about the above mentioned act. To this observation the counsel for Delhi Jal Board gave an affirmative response and expressed his opinion that there is a need for a proper certification mechanism that provide license to the private contractors to hire manual scavengers.

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Hence the Delhi High Court ordered total ten local bodies including Delhi Jal Board, Municipal Corporation of Delhi etc to file affidavits stating their clear position of whether these bodies are employing manual scavengers or not. The court also contended that if these deaths continue to take place then someone has to be held responsible for these deaths and should go to jail.

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