High Court on Manual Scavenging
on manual scavenging
The first bench comprising chief justice M Yusuf Eqbal and justice TS Sivagnanam was passing further orders on a contempt of court petitions against the municipal administration and Metrowater authorities. It also requested the additional solicitor-general, M Ravindran, to pursue the matter with the Centre and get the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act 1993 amended.
It all began with a public interest writ petition filed by a Chennai-based non-governmental organisation against the widely prevalent practice of manual cleaning of sewers in the city. The high court, expanding the scope of the PIL, imposed a blanket ban on the practice all over the state. It also directed the authorities to constitute a committee to hold periodical meetings and review of the situation.
However, claiming that the authorities concerned had not made serious efforts to curb the menace and that no periodical meetings were held as per court orders, the NGO initiated the present contempt proceedings. It also named the municipal administration secretary, Ashok Varadhan Shetty, and the Metrowater managing director, Rajesh Lakhoni. Following a notice from the court, the officials appeared in person in the court in December 2010.
When the matter came up for further hearing, government advocate M Sneha furnished a copy of a letter dated January 25, stating that the state government has requested the Centre to make suitable amendments to the Act for the effective implementation of the directions of the court.
Recording the submissions, it directed the state to approach the Centre, and requested additional solicitor-general of South India Ravindran to do the needful for the speedy amendment of the Act.
Read more: HC tells govt to approach Centre for amending law on manual scavenging - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/HC-tells-govt-to-approach-Centre-for-amending-law-on-manual-scavenging/articleshow/7407900.cms#ixzz1CsGMuVx9
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
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