38.6c New Delhi, India, Monday, July 22, 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

Follow:
FacebookTwitterLinkedinInstagram


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


TOP STORIES

living-separately-for-15-years-marriage-dead-omar-abdullah-seeks-divorce-from-wife-in-sc
Trending Judiciary
'Living separately for 15 years, marriage dead,' Omar Abdullah seeks divorce from wife in SC

Omar Abdullah seeks SC intervention to dissolve his 30-year marriage with Payal Abdullah, citing 15 years of separation and a "dead" marriage.

16 July, 2024 10:46 AM
sc-notice-to-cbi-ed-on-manish-sisodia039;s-bail-plea-in-liquor-scam-case
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to CBI, ED on Manish Sisodia's bail plea in liquor scam case

SC issues notice to CBI, ED on Manish Sisodia's bail plea in liquor scam case. Hearing scheduled for July 29 by a newly constituted three-judge bench.

16 July, 2024 01:16 PM
state-govt-has-got-no-power-to-tinker-with-list-of-scheduled-castes-supreme-court
Trending Judiciary
State govt has got no power to tinker with list of Scheduled Castes: Supreme Court [Read Judgement]

The Supreme Court ruled that state governments lack the authority to modify the Scheduled Castes lists, a power reserved exclusively for Parliament under Article 341.

17 July, 2024 09:31 AM
sc-asks-telangana-govt-to-replace-judge-in-commission-of-inquiry-into-power-pact-by-previous-govt
Trending Judiciary
SC asks Telangana govt to replace judge in Commission of Inquiry into power pact by previous govt

SC directs Telangana govt to replace Justice L Narasimha Reddy in Commission of Inquiry probing former CM KCR's alleged power sector irregularities.

17 July, 2024 09:40 AM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email