38.6c New Delhi, India, Thursday, April 18, 2024
Judiciary

Manual scavenging in India: Delhi HC issues notice on PIL alleging discrimination in benefits

By Shreya Agarwal      20 February, 2024 12:52 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (PEMSR) Act, 2013, (Manual Scavengers Act, 2013) under which certain classes of manual scavengers are not provided rehabilitation benefits under the existing law.

The bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora issued notice to the Union of India and the Government of Delhi in the matter.

The plea has been preferred by one Kallu, a member of the Scheduled Caste community and a sewer cleaner/ septic tank cleaner/ labourer on daily wages, who lost his brother Late Sh. Joginder (also a sewer cleaner) who died on August 6, 2017 while performing “hazardous cleaning” (sewer cleaning) in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi.

This form of cleaning is prohibited as per Section 2(d) of the Manual Scavengers Act, 2013.

He moved the Court pointing out three arbitrary classifications under the Act due to which certain classes of manual scavengers are denied benefits of rehabilitation under the existing law.

Towards this end he sought the striking off of Sections 2(1)(g), 13, 14 15, 16 and 39 of the Manual Scavengers Act, 2013 as well as the Manual Scavenging Rules, 2013 as unconstitutional and as being violative of Articles 14, 17, 21 and 24 of the Indian Constitution.

He further sought directions to the Central and Delhi governments to rehabilitate the sewer cleaners and provide them all the benefits as received by manual scavengers under the Act of 2013.

Kallu, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community states that he has been engaged in collecting and transporting human excreta by means of sewerage network and tanks for decades, and that in particular, Section 2(1)(g), Section 39 of the MS Act, 2013 along with the Rule 3, Rule 4, Rule 5, and Rule 6 (2) of MS Rules, 2013 are manifestly arbitrary, as they create an artificial classification, legitimize untouchability, and violate the “Principles of Dignity”.

The plea seeks to cover “sewer cleaner and septic tank cleaner doing hazardous cleaning” under the Manual Scavengers Act, 2013 stating that “they also clean, carry, dispose of and handle human excreta from more dangerous places.” 

Therefore, it argued that they cannot be deprived of the benefit of identification and rehabilitation provided under Section 11 to Section 16 of the Act of 2013 and MS Rules of 2013 and other beneficial schemes brought by the Government from time to time.

Adv. Pawan Reley who represented the petitioner argued, “There is even a classification between manual scavengers provided with protective gears and those not provided with protective gears. If they get protective gears, they don't fall under the definition of manual scavengers and get no protection under this Act.

He added, “This is entirely violative of Article 14 & 21. DHC: But this means govt policy is encouraging protective gears. Adv: Merely because I have been provided protective gears, I cannot be deprived of the benefits under the Act. If I have been working with them for decades, if suddenly they provide me with gears, I will be deprived of the benefits.”



Share this article:

About:

A wanderer, aspiring yogini and writer. Shreya is a lawyer by profession, journalist by passion. A g...Read more



Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Must ensure manual scavenging is eradicated SC for Rs 30 lakh as sewer death compensation [Read Judgment] Must ensure manual scavenging is eradicated SC for Rs 30 lakh as sewer death compensation [Read Judgment]

The Supreme Court directs government authorities to pay a compensation of Rs. 30 lakh in case of sewer deaths during the practice of manual scavenging across the country.

‘Shame on humanity, shocks conscience’: Karnataka HC registers suo motu case to curb manual scavenging [Read Order] ‘Shame on humanity, shocks conscience’: Karnataka HC registers suo motu case to curb manual scavenging [Read Order]

Noting that the evil practise of manual scavenging is still continuing within the state, the Karnataka High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the same. The Court referred to a newspaper article and registered the case while stating it shocked the conscience of the Court. The Court appointed Adv. Shridhar Prabhu as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter.

“Travesty of justice”: Karnataka HC takes exception to “zero conviction rate” in manual scavenging cases “Travesty of justice”: Karnataka HC takes exception to “zero conviction rate” in manual scavenging cases

The Karnataka High Court took serious exception to the ‘zero conviction rate’ for the offence of manual scavenging in the State. The Court also questioned the State regarding the action being taken against substandard public prosecutors.

Manual scavenging in India: Delhi HC issues notice on PIL alleging discrimination in benefits Manual scavenging in India: Delhi HC issues notice on PIL alleging discrimination in benefits

Delhi High Court issues notice on plea challenging discrimination under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

TRENDING NEWS

burden-to-prove-dishonest-damage-to-electric-meter-is-for-electricity-theft-is-on-the-prosecution-says-delhi-hc
Trending Judiciary
Burden to prove dishonest damage to electric meter is for electricity theft, is on the prosecution: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Delhi High Court has held that the burden to prove that a person has ‘dishonestly’ damaged an electric meter to commit electricity theft is on the prosecution.

17 April, 2024 05:41 PM

TOP STORIES

two-day-conference-on-april-on-technology-and-dialogue-between-sc-and-singapore
Trending Legal Insiders
Two-day conference on April 13-14 on Technology and Dialogue between SC and Singapore

Explore AI's role in law at the India-Singapore Supreme Court conference on technology, enhancing judicial processes and access to justice, April 13-14, 2024.

12 April, 2024 06:16 PM
lsj-exclusive-interview-how-bjp-govt-will-free-chhattisgarh-from-naxal-menace
Trending Interview
LSJ Exclusive Interview: How BJP govt will free Chhattisgarh from “Naxal menace”? [Watch Video]

What is Chhattisgarh govt's plan for solving the Maoist/Naxalite problem in the state? Will there be a surgical strike against the Naxals or solution will be found via diplomatic channels? Read the Exclusive Interview with the Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sharma.

13 April, 2024 12:33 PM
sc-rejects-review-of-order-to-pay-rs-154-cr-compensation-to-ex-air-force-staff-for-transfusion-of-hiv-infected-blood
Trending Judiciary
SC rejects review of order to pay Rs 1.54 Cr compensation to ex Air Force staff for transfusion of HIV infected blood [Read Order]

SC denies review of Rs 1.54 Cr HIV compensation order to ex-Air Force staff for medical negligence.

13 April, 2024 03:13 PM
cji-cautions-against-overlooking-ethical-legal-consideration-on-use-of-ai-in-court-adjudication
Trending Legal Insiders
CJI cautions against overlooking ethical legal consideration on use of AI in court adjudication

CJI D Y Chandrachud warns about ethical, legal challenges in AI use in courts, stressing need for thorough review.

13 April, 2024 07:08 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email