Implement Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers Act on war footing: Karnataka High Court
[04 February 2022] The Karnataka High Court recently directed the State of Karnataka and the Karnataka State Safai Karmachari Development Corporation to take steps to implement the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers & their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, on a “war footing”, and to report compliance with the order within a period of three months.
Single-judge Justice Krishna S Dixit expressed deep anguish at the enormous delay in implementing the socio-welfare law enacted by the parliament, which he said is for the benefit of the oppressed classes who have no choice but to engage in manual scavenging, which is a degradation of basic human value and dignity.
“Permitting such a job is abhorrent to the notions of civility and core human value… though nearly a decade has lapsed since making this statute its benefits are eluding the concerned section of society because of apathy of the quarters that be. Tolerating this callousness attributable to the authorities virtually amounts to tacitly contributing to the continuation of this practice of manual scavenging and thereby placing premium on the violation of the law,” the Court observed.
The order was passed on a batch of petitions filed by citizen litigants belonging to the oppressed classes, who moved the Court stating that the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers & their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, was not being implemented.