SC fiat on manual scavenging
New Delhi: Irked by some state governments`
failure to implement law against manual scavenging, the
Supreme Court Monday said it will consider taking the issue to
its logical conclusion by laying down guidelines for its
"This is also a constitutional issue," a Bench headed
by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said after it sought the
assistance of Attorney General G E Vahanvati on the issue.
"Once we lay down the guidelines, we will take it to the
logical conclusion and we will enforce the law," the Bench,
also comprising Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter
The bench made the remark after it was brought to its
notice that several state governments, including those of
Delhi, Sikkim, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh, have not notified
the law banning manual scavaneging.
The Bench was informed that the court cannot direct
executive authorities for issuing notification in this regard.
The court had in 2009 asked Delhi government to
explain its failure to implement the law against manual
scavenging that provides for elimination of dry latrines and
rehabilitation of scavengers.
Senior advocate P L Narasimha, arguing for NGO, Safai
Karmachari Andolan (SKA), which had filed the PIL in 2003,
submitted that RTI application revealed that there are 1085
manual scavangers in the national capital and several of them
are working for various government departments.
The Bench wanted to know from Delhi and Himachal
Pradesh governments why the notification on the issue has not
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