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Govt can’t engage manual scavengers: Madras HC

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 16, 2017, 5:15 am IST
Updated : Jul 16, 2017, 6:28 am IST

Directing authorities to file their replies, the Bench fixed the next hearing on August 21.

Madras High Court (Photo: PTI)
 Madras High Court (Photo: PTI)

Chennai: Pulling up authorities for laxity in abolishing manual scavenging, the Madras high court has directed government agencies not to engage manual scavengers, directly or through contractors, as it violates human rights.

The court also expanded the definition of manual scavenging to include hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks, apart from removal of human excreta.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar restrained the Union and state governments from engaging manual scavengers, while hearing a PIL filed by Safai Karmachari Andolan.

Directing authorities to file their replies, the Bench fixed the next hearing on August 21.

Manual scavenging is a caste-based occupation involving the removal of untreated human excreta from bucket toilets or pit latrines. It was abolished four years ago.

In its interim order, the Bench said the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, prohibits manual scanvengers’ engagement for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

Tags: madras high court, scavengers, government agencies
Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Chennai (Madras)