SC notice to Centre, states on kids falling in borewells

The Asian Age.  | Pramod Kumar

India, All India

The advocate has also sought the court’s directions to the Centre and the states to frame guidelines.

Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre, states and Union Territories on a plea seeking action against authorities for failing to take preventive steps to cap open and abandoned borewells resulting in small children falling in them and dying across the country.  

A bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice M.R. Shah issued a notice on the plea by advocate petitioner G.S. Mani seeking action against the authorities for failing to act and comply with the directions issued by the top court in August 2010.

Recalling 2006 incident when a child who fell in an open borewell was rescued by the army, Mr Mani referred to the October 2019 incident in Tamil Nadu when three-year-old Sujith Wilson had died after falling in an open borewell. He said that numerous such incidents have been occurring across the country.

Mr Mani has said that all these incidents resulting in the deaths of small children go to show that authorities have not acted as per the guidelines issued by the top court in 2010. He has sought a judicial inquiry either by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or of Madras high court into the death of Sujith Wilson and on the failure of authorities to act and rescue him immediately.

“A judicial verdict must be implemented by the concerned authorities in full letter and spirit. Mere compliance on paper will not give full effect of implementation of court verdict,” said Mr Mani in his PIL.

Seeking full and effective compliance of the guidelines issued in 2010, Mr Mani in his PIL said, “All states/Central and UTs authorities have only issued certain communication between each other for compliance of this court’s guidelines on paper. No effective steps and necessary actions have been taken”.

The advocate has also sought the court’s directions to the Centre and the states to frame guidelines and backed by adequate advance equipment and expertise for rescuing children who fall in abandoned borewells.