06 March, 2006
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre, Delhi state, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on a Special Leave Petition (SLP) seeking directions to the respondents to lay down some guidelines for the safety of sewage workers who have to toil in extremely unhygenic and inhuman conditions.
The appeal has been field by the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) against the Delhi high court order dismissing their petition on the grounds that NHRC was already seized of the matter and two parallel proceedings can not be permitted.
A bench comprising chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr. Justice C.K.
Thakker and Mr. Justice R.V. Raveendran issued the notices after hearing the counsel for appellant who pleaded that more than 40 people including sewage cleaners and small kids have lost their lives since 1999 in Delhi alone and many accidents have taken place after filling of the PIL.
The petitioners have pleaded for issuance of similar directions for other parts of the country also to ensure safety of the lives of such workers who are being exploited ruthlessly and such capitalization was violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The petition also alleges that DJB had tried to mislead the high court. It contended the high court did not take a serious view of the fact and the DJB is still persisting with its negligent attitude.