Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Labour Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Consider issuing directions for implementing Manual Scavenging Rules: K'taka HC

The court also directed the government to consider directing authorities to ensure while appointing contractors that Rule 3 is incorporated in the contract for work order

Sabrangindia 18 Feb 2021

Manual Scavengers

A Karnataka High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Oka has directed the state government to consider issuing a general direction to all authorities to implement Rule 3 of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Rules, 2013.

The Rule 3 states as follows:

3. (1) No person shall be allowed to clean a sewer manually, with protective gear and

safety devices under these rules except :-

(a) for the removal of concrete or FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) or damaged manhole door where mechanical equipment cannot be put into operation.

(b) for inter-linking the newly laid sewer main with the existing sewer main, in case of sewer of size of more than 300 mm diameter.

(c) for removal of submersible pump sets 􀂦xed at the bottom of the suction wells.

(d) for the reconstruction of the manhole or recti􀂦cation of the sewer main.

(2) For the purposes of clauses (c) and (d) of sub-rule (1), before allowing entry of a

person in the sewer, sewage shall be totally emptied.

The court is hearing two writ petitions filed by the All India Council of Trade Unions (AICTU) and High Court Legal Services Committee praying to discontinue the practice of allowing/forcing sanitary workers to physically enter manholes, sewer lines, septic tanks etc.

As per LiveLaw, the court said, "The state government shall consider issuing a general direction to all Urban and Rural local authorities as well as all agencies and instrumentalities of the state for implementation of Rule 3 of the said Rules of 2013. The State government shall also consider issuing a direction that whenever authorities appoint contractors, condition of complying with Rule 3, should be incorporated in the contract for work order”.

The petitions also concerned itself with the incident of three manual scavengers who died due to suffocation, while cleaning a pit in an apartment complex at Bengaluru. During the course of hearing, two more deaths of manual scavengers were reported in Kalaburgi who choked to death in a manhole, in January 2021.

Case until now

During the hearing in December, the court opined that continuous monitoring will be necessary and the power of issuing continuing mandamus will have to be exercised in this matter. The Division Bench also observed that, “If any citizen is forced to do manual scavenging, it will be a gross violation of his fundamental right conferred under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

During the hearing on February 2, the court perused the memo filed by the State Government on January 30 and observed that there is absolutely no compliance with the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and the Rules. “They (petitioners) may be right in submitting that it is only due to the failure on the part of the authorities of the State and other agencies to implement the provisions of the Manual Scavengers Act that two persons who were forced to do manual scavenging, have lost their lives,” said the court. The court had observed that during the period of the last seven years, there is hardly any implementation of the Act in the state. The court then directed the State Government to place on record actions taken as regards the Kalaburgi incident.

The complete order may be read here.

 

Related:

Manual Scavengers: 340 deaths, yet Centre has no intention to make stricter laws!

Karnataka: Two manual scavengers choke to death in a manhole

Safai Karamchari Andolan campaigns against dry latrines

Manual Scavengers Act: Karnataka HC issues directions over implementation

Consider issuing directions for implementing Manual Scavenging Rules: K'taka HC

The court also directed the government to consider directing authorities to ensure while appointing contractors that Rule 3 is incorporated in the contract for work order

Manual Scavengers

A Karnataka High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Oka has directed the state government to consider issuing a general direction to all authorities to implement Rule 3 of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Rules, 2013.

The Rule 3 states as follows:

3. (1) No person shall be allowed to clean a sewer manually, with protective gear and

safety devices under these rules except :-

(a) for the removal of concrete or FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) or damaged manhole door where mechanical equipment cannot be put into operation.

(b) for inter-linking the newly laid sewer main with the existing sewer main, in case of sewer of size of more than 300 mm diameter.

(c) for removal of submersible pump sets 􀂦xed at the bottom of the suction wells.

(d) for the reconstruction of the manhole or recti􀂦cation of the sewer main.

(2) For the purposes of clauses (c) and (d) of sub-rule (1), before allowing entry of a

person in the sewer, sewage shall be totally emptied.

The court is hearing two writ petitions filed by the All India Council of Trade Unions (AICTU) and High Court Legal Services Committee praying to discontinue the practice of allowing/forcing sanitary workers to physically enter manholes, sewer lines, septic tanks etc.

As per LiveLaw, the court said, "The state government shall consider issuing a general direction to all Urban and Rural local authorities as well as all agencies and instrumentalities of the state for implementation of Rule 3 of the said Rules of 2013. The State government shall also consider issuing a direction that whenever authorities appoint contractors, condition of complying with Rule 3, should be incorporated in the contract for work order”.

The petitions also concerned itself with the incident of three manual scavengers who died due to suffocation, while cleaning a pit in an apartment complex at Bengaluru. During the course of hearing, two more deaths of manual scavengers were reported in Kalaburgi who choked to death in a manhole, in January 2021.

Case until now

During the hearing in December, the court opined that continuous monitoring will be necessary and the power of issuing continuing mandamus will have to be exercised in this matter. The Division Bench also observed that, “If any citizen is forced to do manual scavenging, it will be a gross violation of his fundamental right conferred under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

During the hearing on February 2, the court perused the memo filed by the State Government on January 30 and observed that there is absolutely no compliance with the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and the Rules. “They (petitioners) may be right in submitting that it is only due to the failure on the part of the authorities of the State and other agencies to implement the provisions of the Manual Scavengers Act that two persons who were forced to do manual scavenging, have lost their lives,” said the court. The court had observed that during the period of the last seven years, there is hardly any implementation of the Act in the state. The court then directed the State Government to place on record actions taken as regards the Kalaburgi incident.

The complete order may be read here.

 

Related:

Manual Scavengers: 340 deaths, yet Centre has no intention to make stricter laws!

Karnataka: Two manual scavengers choke to death in a manhole

Safai Karamchari Andolan campaigns against dry latrines

Manual Scavengers Act: Karnataka HC issues directions over implementation

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Politics

‘I challenge them to kill me’ : Kabir Suman reacts to Sitalkuchi killings

Renowned poet and musician Kabir Suman has reacted angrily to the ghastly Sitalkuchi killings by railing against BJP-RSS and ‘those whose guns are paid for by the taxpayers’. Hear the bard speak his heart out on the Bengali New Year’s Day.

Politics

‘I challenge them to kill me’ : Kabir Suman reacts to Sitalkuchi killings

Renowned poet and musician Kabir Suman has reacted angrily to the ghastly Sitalkuchi killings by railing against BJP-RSS and ‘those whose guns are paid for by the taxpayers’. Hear the bard speak his heart out on the Bengali New Year’s Day.

IN FACT

Analysis

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Archives