What ails our system..
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Nov 9, 2010, 12.09am IST
Tags:Scavenging Law|Safai Karmachari Andolan|Justice S H Kapadia
NEW DELHI: President Barack Obama may have attributed his rise to the top post in the US to the inspiration he received from the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi but the Delhi government appears to be oblivious to the Father of the Nation having called manual scavenging the worst curse on society.
Gandhi said so more than 100 years ago and the Centre enacted the Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993. But till date, the Delhi government has not notified its enforcement in the national capital.
It would have hardly impressed Obama. The Supreme Court was not. A Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar on Monday asked Delhi government counsel T S Doabia to detail the reasons behind the reluctance to notify enforcement of the law banning manual scavenging.
The question followed a revelation by NGO 'Safai Karmachari Andolan' that manual scavengers still carry excreta from dry latrines not far from Parliament.
There are as many as 1,085 of them in Delhi, the NGO claimed. This was strongly refuted by Doabia, but the counsel had no answer to the SC's query why the law banning manual scavenging was not notified by Delhi government for enforcement in the national capital.
Appearing for the NGO, senior advocate P S Narasimha said the Delhi SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and Handicapped Financial and Development Corporation was aware of a survey conducted by Delhi University's Department of Social Work, which had identified 1,085 scavengers still working in Delhi.
Though the Bench appeared disturbed by the findings, it decided to tread a cautious path and asked Narasimha whether the court could direct a state government to issue a notification to bring into force a law.
Terming the issue as one of constitutional importance, it requested the attorney general for assistance even as Narasimha argued that non-implementation of the law breached the fundamental right to life, which included right to live with dignity.
Read more: Scavenging law: SC asks govt to reply over delay - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Scavenging-law-SC-asks-govt-to-reply-over-delay-/articleshow/6891189.cms#ixzz16SBIjwsv