The Delhi High Court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of the death of two persons allegedly while cleaning a sewer in the city last week, and directed that a public interest litigation be registered on the issue.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notice to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi government and Delhi Jal Board on the matter on the basis of a news report dated September 11 and also appointed senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao as amicus curiae to assist the court.
A sweeper and a security guard died on September 9 in Outer Delhi’s Mundka area after they inhaled toxic gases inside a sewer they had gone down to clean, police had said last week.
“Let a PIL be registered in the matter. Notice be issued to MCD, GNCTD and Delhi Jal Board,” the court ordered.
“You go through that news item. I will give you the material which will help you out,” Chief Justice Sharma told Rao. ”There is a Supreme Court judgement on the subject which says that the moment the death takes place of a person who is manually doing this scavenging work, the family is entitled to (certain assistance)… plus a job to one of the members of the family,” Chief Justice Sharma added. The matter would be heard next on September 21.