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SC comes to unorganised workers rescues

Defending growing judicial activism, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it cannot simply shut its eyes when the State and its instrumentalities deprive the underprivileged sections of their basic rights.



New Delhi: Defending growing judicial
activism, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it cannot simply shut
its eyes when the State and its instrumentalities deprive the
underprivileged sections of their basic rights.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said
superior courts like the Supreme Court and High Courts have a
duty entertain PILs and petitions filed by bonafide
individuals and NGOs espousing the cause of the
underprivileged.

The apex court in a judgement directed the Delhi Jal
Board and other civic agencies like MCD to ensure minimum
safety and health standard for sewerage and other unorganised
workers employed either by the civic bodies or contractors
outsourced by these agencies.

"The most unfortunate part of the scenario is that
whenever one of the three constituents of the State i.e.,
judiciary, has issued directions for ensuring that the right
to equality, life and liberty no longer remains illusory
for those who suffer from the handicaps of poverty, illiteracy
and ignorance and directions are given for implementation of
the laws enacted by the legislature for the benefit of the
have-nots, a theoretical debate is started by raising the
bogey of judicial activism or judicial overreach," the bench
said.

The bench`s remarks come in the backdrop of the
recent directions passed by the apex court constituting an SIT
headed by retired judges to probe the alleged massive black
money stashed in foreign countries running into several
thousands of crore rupees.

In the instant case, DJB had challenged the directions
of the high court for providing head gears, oxygen mask and
other apparatus for sewage workers as scores of them had
succumbed to poisonous fumes from manholes.

The HC had also asked the Board to deposit Rs 79,000 with
the State Legal Aid Services Authority to compensate the
family of a worker Rajan who died after inhaling gas in
2009.

PTI

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