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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Public Interest Litigation under Article 32 of the Constitution of India praying for issuance of a writ of mandamus to the respondent-Union of India, State Governments and Union Territories to strictly enforce the implementation of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 (in short ‘the Act’), - Apex court gave directions = Safai Karamchari Andolan & Ors. .... Petitioner (s) Versus Union of India & Ors. .... Respondent(s) = 2014 (March . Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41346

Public Interest Litigation under Article 32 of the Constitution  of  India  praying
for issuance of a writ of mandamus to the respondent-Union of  India,  State
Governments and Union Territories to strictly enforce the implementation  of
the Employment  of  Manual  Scavengers  and  Construction  of  Dry  Latrines
(Prohibition) Act, 1993 (in  short  ‘the  Act’),  - Apex court gave directions =

writ petition has been filed by the petitioners as a  Public
Interest Litigation under Article 32 of the Constitution  of  India  praying
for issuance of a writ of mandamus to the respondent-Union of  India,  State
Governments and Union Territories to strictly enforce the implementation  of
the Employment  of  Manual  Scavengers  and  Construction  of  Dry  Latrines
(Prohibition) Act, 1993 (in  short  ‘the  Act’),  inter  alia,  seeking  for
enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 17,  21  and
47 of the Constitution of India.=

 we  issue  the  following
directions:-

(i)   The persons included in the final  list  of  manual  scavengers  under
Sections 11 and 12 of the 2013  Act,  shall  be  rehabilitated  as  per  the
provisions of Part IV of the 2013 Act, in the following manner, namely:-

      (a)  such initial, one time, cash assistance, as may be prescribed;

      (b)   their children shall be  entitled  to  scholarship  as  per  the
      relevant scheme of the Central Government or the State  Government  or
      the local authorities, as the case may be;

      (c)    they  shall  be  allotted  a  residential  plot  and  financial
      assistance  for  house  construction,  or  a  ready-built  house  with
      financial assistance, subject to eligibility and  willingness  of  the
      manual scavenger as per the provisions of the relevant scheme;

      (d)   at least one member of their family, shall be given, subject  to
      eligibility and willingness, training in livelihood skill and shall be
      paid a monthly stipend during such period;

      (e)   at least one adult member  of  their  family,  shall  be  given,
      subject to eligibility and willingness, subsidy and concessional  loan
      for taking up an alternative occupation on sustainable basis,  as  per
      the provisions of the relevant scheme;

      (f)   shall be provided such other legal and programmatic  assistance,
      as the Central Government or  State  Government  may  notify  in  this
      behalf.

(ii)  If the practice of manual scavenging has to be brought to a close  and
also to prevent future generations  from  the  inhuman  practice  of  manual
scavenging, rehabilitation of manual scavengers will need to include:-

      (a)   Sewer deaths – entering sewer lines without safety gears  should
      be made a crime even in emergency situations.  For  each  such  death,
      compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs should be given  to  the  family  of  the
      deceased.

      (b)   Railways –  should  take  time  bound  strategy  to  end  manual
      scavenging on the tracks.

      (c)   Persons released from manual scavenging should not have to cross
      hurdles to receive what is their legitimate due under the law.

      (d)   Provide support for dignified  livelihood  to  safai  karamchari
      women in accordance with their choice of livelihood schemes.

(iii) Identify the families of all persons who have died  in  sewerage  work
(manholes, septic tanks) since 1993 and award compensation  of  Rs.10  lakhs
for each such death to the family members depending on them.

(iv)  Rehabilitation  must  be  based  on  the  principles  of  justice  and
transformation.

15)   In the light of various provisions of the Act referred  to  above  and
the Rules in addition to various directions issued by this Court, we  hereby
direct all  the  State  Governments  and  the  Union  Territories  to  fully
implement the same and take appropriate  action  for  non-implementation  as
well as violation of the provisions contained in the 2013 Act.  Inasmuch  as
the Act 2013 occupies the entire field, we are of the view that  no  further
monitoring is required by this Court.   However,  we  once  again  reiterate
that the duty is cast on all the States and the Union Territories  to  fully
implement and to take action against  the  violators.   Henceforth,  persons
aggrieved are permitted to approach the authorities concerned at  the  first
instance and thereafter the High Court having jurisdiction.



16)   With the above direction, the writ petition is disposed of.  No  order
is required in the contempt petition.
2014 (March . Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41346
P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, N.V. RAMANA

                                    REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION


                   1 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 583 OF 2003



Safai Karamchari Andolan & Ors.                  .... Petitioner (s)

            Versus

Union of India & Ors.                                    .... Respondent(s)

                                      2


                                   3 WITH


4


                                      5


                  6  CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NO. 132 OF 2012


                                    7 IN


                   8 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 583 OF 2003



                               J U D G M E N T




P.Sathasivam, CJI.

1)    The above writ petition has been filed by the petitioners as a  Public
Interest Litigation under Article 32 of the Constitution  of  India  praying
for issuance of a writ of mandamus to the respondent-Union of  India,  State
Governments and Union Territories to strictly enforce the implementation  of
the Employment  of  Manual  Scavengers  and  Construction  of  Dry  Latrines
(Prohibition) Act, 1993 (in  short  ‘the  Act’),  inter  alia,  seeking  for
enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 17,  21  and
47 of the Constitution of India.

2)    Brief facts:

(i)   The inhuman practice of manually removing night  soil  which  involves
removal of human excrements from dry toilets  with  bare  hands,  brooms  or
metal scrappers; carrying  excrements  and  baskets  to  dumping  sites  for
disposal is a practice  that  is  still  prevalent  in  many  parts  of  the
country.   While  the  surveys  conducted  by  some   of   the   petitioner-
organizations estimate  that  there  are  over  12  lakh  manual  scavengers
undertaking the degrading  human  practice  in  the  country,  the  official
statistics issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for  the
year 2002-2003 puts the figure of identified manual scavengers at  6,76,009.
 Of these, over 95% are Dalits (persons belonging to the scheduled  castes),
who are compelled to undertake this  denigrating  task  under  the  garb  of
“traditional  occupation”.   The  manual  scavengers   are   considered   as
untouchables by other mainstream castes and are  thrown  into  a  vortex  of
severe social and economic exploitation.

(ii)  The sub-Committee of  the  Task  Force  constituted  by  the  Planning
Commission in 1989 estimated that there were 72.05  lakhs  dry  latrines  in
the country.  These dry latrines have not only continued to exist till  date
in several States but have  increased  to  96  lakhs  and  are  still  being
cleaned manually by scavengers belonging to the Scheduled Castes.

(iii)  National  Scheduled  Castes  and   Scheduled   Tribes   Finance   and
Development Corporation was  set  up  in  February,  1989  as  a  Government
company to provide financial assistance to  all  the  Scheduled  Castes  and
Scheduled  Tribes   including   Safai   Karamcharis   for   their   economic
development.

(iv)  The Government of  India  formulated  a  Scheme  known  as  ‘Low  Cost
Sanitation for Liberation of Scavengers’  which  is  a  centrally  sponsored
Scheme being implemented in 1989-90 for elimination of manual scavenging  by
converting existing dry latrines into low cost  water  pour  flush  latrines
and also for construction of new sanitary latrines.

(v)   With a  view  to  eliminate  manual  scavenging,  a  Scheme  known  as
‘National Scheme of Liberation and Rehabilitation of  Scavengers  and  their
Dependents’ was launched in March 1992 for  identification,  liberation  and
rehabilitation of scavengers and their dependents by  providing  alternative
employment after giving the requisite training.

(vi)  Based on earlier experience and keeping in  view  the  recommendations
of the National Seminar on Rural Sanitation held in September  1992,  a  new
strategy was adopted  by  the  Government  of  India  in  March  1993.   The
emphasis was now on providing sanitary latrines including  the  construction
of individual sanitary latrines for selected houses below the  poverty  line
with subsidy of 80% of the unit cost of Rs.2,500/-.

(vii) In the year 1993, the Parliament  enacted  the  Employment  of  Manual
Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993  and  it
received the assent of the President on 5th June, 1993.  The long  title  of
the Act describes it as an Act to provide for the prohibition of  employment
of manual scavengers as well as construction or continuance of dry  latrines
and for  the  regulation  of  construction  and  maintenance  of  water-seal
latrines and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

(viii)      The Act, which was enacted in June  1993,  remained  inoperative
for about 3½ years.  It was finally brought into force  in  the  year  1997.
In the first instance, the Act applied to  the  States  of  Andhra  Pradesh,
Goa, Karnataka, Maharashta, Tripura and West Bengal and  to  all  the  Union
Territories.  It was expected that the remaining States would adopt the  Act
subsequently by passing appropriate resolution  under  Article  252  of  the
Constitution.  However, as  noted  by  the  National  Commission  for  Safai
Karamcharis-a statutory body, set  up  under  the  National  Commission  for
Safai  Karamcharis  Act,  1993,  in  its  3rd  and  4th  Reports  (combined)
submitted to  the  Parliament,  noted  that  the  1993  Act  was  not  being
implemented effectively and further noted that the estimated number  of  dry
latrines in the country is 96 lakhs  and  the  estimated  number  of  manual
scavengers identified is 5,77,228.  It further noted that manual  scavengers
were being employed in the military  engineering  works,  the  army,  public
sector undertakings, Indian Railways etc.

(ix)  In 2003, a  report  was  submitted  by  the  Comptroller  and  Auditor
General (CAG) which  evaluated  the  ‘National  Scheme  for  Liberation  and
Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their Dependents’.  The conclusion  of  the
report was that this Scheme “has  failed  to  achieve  its  objectives  even
after 10 years of implementation involving investment of more than  Rs.  600
crores”.  It further pointed out that  although  funds  were  available  for
implementation of the Scheme, much of  it  were  unspent  or  underutilized.
The Committees set up for monitoring the  Scheme  were  non-functional.   It
further noted that there was “lack of  correspondence  between  ‘liberation’
and ‘rehabilitation’ and that “there was no evidence  to  suggest  if  those
liberated were in fact rehabilitated”.  It concluded that “the most  serious
lapse in the conceptualization and operationalization of the Scheme was  its
failure to employ the law that prohibited the occupation…the law was  rarely
used”.

(x)   In December, 2003 the Safai Karamchari Andolan along  with  six  other
civil society organizations as well as seven individuals  belonging  to  the
community of  manual  scavengers  filed  the  present  writ  petition  under
Article 32 of the Constitution on the ground that the  continuation  of  the
practice of manual scavenging as well as of  dry  latrines  is  illegal  and
unconstitutional since it violates the fundamental rights  guaranteed  under
Articles 14, 17, 21 and 23 of the Constitution of India and the 1993 Act.

3)    We have heard the  arguments  advanced  by  learned  counsel  for  the
parties and perused the records.

Relief sought for:

4)    The petitioners have approached this Court by way of writ petition  in
2003, inter alia, seeking:

(i)   to ensure complete eradication of Dry Latrines;

(ii)  to declare continuance of the practice of manual  scavenging  and  the
      operation of Dry Latrines violative of Articles 14, 17, 21 and  23  of
      the Constitution and the 1993 Act;

(iii) to direct the respondents to  adopt  and  implement  the  Act  and  to
      formulate  detailed  plans,  on  time  bound   basis,   for   complete
      eradication of practice of manual  scavenging  and  rehabilitation  of
      persons engaged in such practice;

(iv)  to direct Union of India and  State  Governments  to  issue  necessary
      directives to various Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and Nagar
      Panchayats (all local bodies) to strictly implement the provisions  of
      the Act and initiate prosecution against the violators; and

(v)   to file periodical Compliance Reports pursuant to  various  directions
      issued by this Court.

Discussion:

5)    The practice of untouchability in general and of manual scavenging  in
particular was deprecated in  no  uncertain  terms  by  Dr.  B.R.  Ambedkar,
Chairman  of  the  Drafting  Committee  of  the   Constitution   of   India.
Accordingly, in Chapter  III  of  the  Constitution,  Article  17  abolished
untouchability which states as follows:

      “Abolition of Untouchability: “Untouchability” is  abolished  and  its
      practice in any form is forbidden.  The enforcement of any  disability
      arising out of “Untouchability” shall  be  an  offence  punishable  in
      accordance with law.”

 6)   Article 17 of the Constitution was initially implemented  through  the
enactment of the Protection of Civil Rights Act,  1955  (formerly  known  as
the Untouchability (Offences) Act,  1955).   Section  7A  of  the  said  Act
provides that whoever compels any person on the ground of untouchability  to
do any scavenging shall be deemed to have enforced a disability arising  out
of untouchability  which  is  punishable  with  imprisonment.   While  these
constitutional and statutory provisions were path  breaking  in  themselves,
they were found to be inadequate  in  addressing  the  continuation  of  the
obnoxious practice of manual  scavenging  across  the  country,  a  practice
squarely rooted in the concept of the caste-system and untouchability.

7) Apart  from  the  provisions  of  the  Constitution,  there  are  various
international conventions and covenants to which India  is  a  party,  which
prescribe  the  inhuman  practice  of  manual  scavenging.   These  are  the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Convention on  Elimination  of
Racial Discrimination (CERD) and  the  Convention  for  Elimination  of  all
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).   The relevant provisions  of
the UDHR, CERD and CEDAW are hereunder:

      “Article 1 of UDHR

      All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.   They
      are endowed with reason and conscience  and  should  act  towards  one
      another in spirit of brotherhood.

      Article 2(1) of UDHR

      Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth  in  this
      Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such  as  race,  colour,
      sex, language, religion,  political  or  other  opinion,  national  or
      social origin, property, birth or other status.

      Article 23(3) of UDHR

      Everyone who works has a right to  just  and  favourable  remuneration
      enduring for himself and his  family  an  existence  worthy  of  human
      dignity and supplemented, if  necessary,  by  other  means  of  social
      protection.”







      “Article 5(a) of CEDAW

      States Parties shall take all appropriate measures

      a)    to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and
      women, with a view to achieving  the  elimination  of  prejudices  and
      customary and all other practices which are based on the idea  of  the
      inferiority  or  the  superiority  of  either  of  the  sexes  or   on
      stereotyped roles for men and women.

      Article 2 of CERD

      Article 2(1)(c)

      States parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake  to  pursue
      by all appropriate means and without delay  a  policy  of  eliminating
      racial discrimination in all its  forms  and  promoting  understanding
      among all races, and to his end:

      (c)   each  State  party  shall  take  effective  measures  to  review
      governmental, national and local policies, and to  amend,  rescind  or
      nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating  on
      perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists;

      (d) each State party shall prohibit  and  bring  to  an  end,  by  all
      appropriate means, including legislation as required by circumstances,
      racial discrimination by any persons, group or organization.”

The above  provisions  of  the  International  Covenants,  which  have  been
ratified by India, are binding to the extent that they are not  inconsistent
with the provisions of the domestic law.

8)    From 2003 till date, this writ petition was treated  as  a  continuing
mandamus.  Several  orders  have  been  passed  by  this  Court  having  far
reaching implications.  The petitioners  have  brought  to  focus  the  non-
adoption of the Act by various States which led to ratification of  the  Act
by State Assemblies (including the Delhi Assembly which ratified the Act  as
late as in 2010).  The Union Government, State Governments as  well  as  the
petitioners have filed affidavits from time to time as  per  the  directions
of this Court and also as to the compliance of those orders.

9)    This Court has, on several occasions, directed  the  Union  and  State
Governments to take steps towards the monitoring and implementation  of  the
Act.  Various orders have gradually pushed the State Governments  to  ratify
the law  and  appoint  Executive  Authorities  under  the  Act.   Under  the
directions of this Court, the States are obligated by law  to  collect  data
and monitor the implementation of the Act.

10)   Due to mounting pressure of this Court, in March,  2013,  the  Central
Government announced a ‘Survey of Manual Scavengers’.  The survey,  however,
was confined only to 3546 statutory  towns  and  did  not  extend  to  rural
areas.  Even  with  this  limited  mandate,  as  per  the  information  with
Petitioner No. 1, the survey has shown remarkably  little  progress.   State
records in the “Progress Report of Survey of  Manual  Scavengers  and  their
Dependents” dated 27.02.2014 show that they have only been able to  identify
a miniscule proportion of the number of people actually  engaged  in  manual
scavenging.  For instance, the petitioners, with  their  limited  resources,
have managed to identify 1098 persons in manual scavenging in the  State  of
Bihar.  The Progress Report dated 27.02.2014 claims to have identified  only
136.  In the State of Rajasthan, the petitioners have identified 816  manual
scavengers whereas the Progress Report of the  State  dated  27.02.2014  has
identified only 46.

11)   The aforesaid data collected by the petitioners  makes  it  abundantly
clear that the  practice  of  manual  scavenging  continues  unabated.   Dry
latrines continue to exist notwithstanding the fact that the  1993  Act  was
in force for nearly two decades.  States have acted in denial  of  the  1993
Act and the constitutional mandate  to  abolish  untouchability.   12)   For
over  a  decade,  this  Court  issued  various  directions  and  sought  for
compliance from all the States and  Union  Territories.   Due  to  effective
intervention and directions of this Court, the Government of  India  brought
an Act called “The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and  their
Rehabilitation Act, 2013” for abolition of this evil and for the welfare  of
manual scavengers.  The Act got the assent of the President  on  18.09.2013.
The enactment  of  the  aforesaid  Act,  in  no  way,  neither  dilutes  the
constitutional mandate of Article 17 nor does it  condone  the  inaction  on
the part of Union and State Governments under the 1993 Act.  What  the  2013
Act does in addition is to expressly acknowledge Article 17 and  Article  21
rights of the persons engaged in sewage cleaning and cleaning tanks as  well
persons cleaning human excreta on railway tracks.

13)   Learned  Additional  Solicitor  General  has  brought  to  our  notice
various salient features of the Act which are as under:-
(i)   The above-said Act has been enacted to provide for the prohibition  of
      employment as manual scavengers, rehabilitation of  manual  scavengers
      and their families, and for matters connected therewith or  incidental
      thereto.
(ii)  Chapter I of the Act  inter  alia  provides  for  the  definitions  of
      “hazardous cleaning”, “insanitary latrine” and “manual  scavenger”  as
      contained in Sections 2(1)(d), (e) and (g) thereof respectively.
(iii) Chapter II of  the  Act  contains  provisions  for  Identification  of
      Insanitary latrines.  Section 4(1) of the Act reads as under:
      “4 - Local authorities  to  survey  insanitary  latrines  and  provide
      sanitary community latrines


      (1) Every local authority shall,--
      (a) carry out a survey of  insanitary  latrines  existing  within  its
      jurisdiction, and publish a list of such insanitary latrines, in  such
      manner as may be prescribed, within a period of two  months  from  the
      date of commencement of this Act;
      (b) give a notice to the occupier, within fifteen days from  the  date
      of publication of the list under clause (a), to  either  demolish  the
      insanitary latrine or convert it into a  sanitary  latrine,  within  a
      period of six months from the date of commencement of this Act:
      Provided that the local authority may for  sufficient  reasons  to  be
      recorded in writing extend the said period not exceeding three months;
      (c) construct, within a period not exceeding nine months from the date
      of commencement  of  this  Act,  such  number  of  sanitary  community
      latrines as it considers necessary,  in  the  areas  where  insanitary
      latrines have been found.”

(iv)  Chapter  III  of  the  Act  contains  provisions  for  prohibition  of
insanitary latrines and  employment  and  engagement  as  manual  scavenger.
Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Act read as under:
      “5 - Prohibition of insanitary latrines and employment and  engagement
      of manual scavenger


      (1) Notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained  in  the
      Employment of Manual  Scavengers  and  Construction  of  Dry  Latrines
      (Prohibition) Act, 1993(46 of 1993), no person, local authority or any
      agency shall, after the date of commencement of this Act,--
      (a) construct an insanitary latrine; or
      (b)  engage  or  employ,  either  directly  or  indirectly,  a  manual
      scavenger, and  every  person  so  engaged  or  employed  shall  stand
      discharged immediately from any obligation, express or implied, to  do
      manual scavenging.
      (2) Every insanitary latrine existing on the date of  commencement  of
      this Act, shall either be demolished or be converted into  a  sanitary
      latrine, by the occupier at his own cost, before  the  expiry  of  the
      period so specified in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 4:
      Provided that where there are several  occupiers  in  relation  to  an
      insanitary latrine, the liability to demolish or convert it shall  lie
      with,--
      (a) the owner of the premises, in case one of the occupiers happens to
      be the owner; and
      (b) all the occupiers, jointly and severally, in all other cases:
      Provided that the State Government may give assistance for  conversion
      of insanitary latrines into sanitary latrines to occupiers  from  such
      categories of persons and on such scale, as it may,  by  notification,
      specify:
      Provided further that non-receipt of State assistance shall not  be  a
      valid ground to maintain or use an insanitary latrine, beyond the said
      period of nine months.
      (3) If any occupier fails to demolish an insanitary latrine or convert
      it into a sanitary latrine within the period specified in  sub-section
      (2), the local authority having jurisdiction over the  area  in  which
      such insanitary latrine is situated, shall, after giving notice of not
      less than twenty one days to the occupier, either convert such latrine
      into a sanitary latrine, or  demolish  such  insanitary  latrine,  and
      shall be entitled to recover the cost of such conversion  or,  as  the
      case may be, of demolition, from such occupier in such manner  as  may
      be prescribed.


      6 - Contract, agreement, etc., to be void


      (1) Any contract,  agreement  or  other  instrument  entered  into  or
      executed before the date of commencement  of  this  Act,  engaging  or
      employing a person for the purpose of manual scavenging shall, on  the
      date of commencement of this Act, be  terminated  and  such  contract,
      agreement or other instrument shall be void  and  inoperative  and  no
      compensation shall be payable therefor.
      (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),  no  person
      employed or engaged as a manual scavenger on a full-time  basis  shall
      be retrenched by his employer, but shall be retained, subject  to  his
      willingness, in employment on at least the same emoluments, and  shall
      be assigned work other than manual scavenging.


      7 - Prohibition of persons from engagement or employment for hazardous
      cleaning of sewers and septic tanks


      No person, local authority or any agency shall, from such date as  the
      State Government may notify, which shall not be later  than  one  year
      from the date of commencement of this Act, engage  or  employ,  either
      directly or indirectly, any person for hazardous cleaning of  a  sewer
      or a septic tank.”

(v)   Sections 8 and 9 of the Act provide for penal  provisions  which  read
as under:
      8 - Penalty for contravention of section 5 or section 6


      Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 5 or section 6 shall for
      the first contravention be punishable with  imprisonment  for  a  term
      which may extend to one year or with fine which may  extend  to  fifty
      thousand rupees or with both, and  for  any  subsequent  contravention
      with imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine which may
      extend to one lakh rupees, or with both.


      9 - Penalty for contravention of section 7


      Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 7 shall  for  the  first
      contravention be punishable with imprisonment for  a  term  which  may
      extend to two years or with fine which may extend to two  lakh  rupees
      or with both, and for any subsequent contravention  with  imprisonment
      which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend  to  five
      lakh rupees, or with both.

(vi)   Chapter  IV  of  the  Act  contains  provisions   with   respect   to
identification of manual scavengers  in  Urban  and  Rural  Areas  and  also
provides for their rehabilitation.  Section 13 of the Act reads as under;


      “13 - Rehabilitation of persons identified as manual scavengers  by  a
      Municipality


      (1) Any person  included  in  the  final  list  of  manual  scavengers
      published in pursuance of sub-section  (6)  of  section  11  or  added
      thereto in pursuance of  sub-section  (3)  of  section  12,  shall  be
      rehabilitated in the following manner, namely:--
      (a) he shall be given, within one month,--
      (i) a photo identity card, containing,  inter  alia,  details  of  all
      members of his family dependent on him, and
      (ii) such initial, one time, cash assistance, as may be prescribed;
      (b) his children shall be entitled to scholarship as per the  relevant
      scheme of the Central Government or the State Government or the  local
      authorities, as the case may be;
      (c) he shall be allotted a residential plot and  financial  assistance
      for  house  construction,  or  a  ready-built  house,  with  financial
      assistance, subject to  eligibility  and  willingness  of  the  manual
      scavenger, and the provisions of the relevant scheme  of  the  Central
      Government or the State Government or the concerned local authority;
      (d) he, or at least one adult member of his family,  shall  be  given,
      subject to eligibility  and  willingness,  training  in  a  livelihood
      skill, and shall be paid a monthly stipend  of  not  less  than  three
      thousand rupees, during the period of such training;
      (e) he, or at least one adult member of his family,  shall  be  given,
      subject to eligibility and willingness, subsidy and concessional  loan
      for taking up an alternative occupation on  a  sustainable  basis,  in
      such manner as may be stipulated in the relevant scheme of the Central
      Government or the State Government or the concerned local authority;
      (f) he shall be provided such other legal and programmatic assistance,
      as the Central Government or  State  Government  may  notify  in  this
      behalf.


      (2) The  District  Magistrate  of  the  district  concerned  shall  be
      responsible for rehabilitation of each manual scavenger in  accordance
      with the provisions of sub-section (1) and the State Government or the
      District   Magistrate   concerned    may,    in    addition,    assign
      responsibilities in his behalf to officers subordinate to the District
      Magistrate and to officers of the concerned Municipality.”

(vii) Chapter  V  of  the  Act  provides  for  the  implementing  mechanism.
Sections 17 to 20 read as under:


      17 - Responsibility of local  authorities  to  ensure  elimination  of
      insanitary latrines


      Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being
      in force, it shall be the responsibility of every local  authority  to
      ensure, through awareness campaign or in such other manner that  after
      the expiry of a period of nine months, from the date  of  commencement
      of this Act,--
      (i) no insanitary latrine is constructed, maintained  or  used  within
      its jurisdiction; and
      (ii) in case of contravention of clause (i), action is  taken  against
      the occupier under sub-section (3) of section 5.






      18 - Authorities who may be specified for implementing  provisions  of
      this Act


      The appropriate Government may confer  such  powers  and  impose  such
      duties on local authority and District Magistrate as may be  necessary
      to ensure that the provisions of this Act are  properly  carried  out,
      and a local authority and the District  Magistrate  may,  specify  the
      subordinate officers, who shall exercise all or any of the powers, and
      perform all or any of the duties, so conferred  or  imposed,  and  the
      local limits within which such powers or duties shall be  carried  out
      by the officer or officers so specified.


      19 - Duty of District Magistrate and authorised officers


      The District Magistrate and the authority authorised under section  18
      or any other subordinate officers specified by them under that section
      shall ensure that, after the expiry of such period  as  specified  for
      the purpose of this Act,--
      (a) no person is engaged or employed as manual scavenger within  their
      jurisdiction;
      (b) no one constructs, maintains, uses or makes available for use,  an
      insanitary latrine;
      (c) manual scavengers identified under this Act are  rehabilitated  in
      accordance with section 13, or as the case may be, section 16;
      (d) persons contravening the provisions of section 5 or section  6  or
      section 7 are investigated and prosecuted under the provisions of this
      Act; and
      (e) all provisions of this Act applicable within his jurisdiction  are
      duly complied with.




      20 - Appointment of inspectors and their powers


      (1) The appropriate Government  may,  by  notification,  appoint  such
      persons as it thinks fit to be inspectors for  the  purposes  of  this
      Act, and define the local limits  within  which  they  shall  exercise
      their powers under this Act…”

(viii)      Chapter VII  of  the  Act  provides  for  the  establishment  of
Vigilance and Monitoring Committees in the following terms:


      “24 - Vigilance Committees


      (1) Every  State  Government  shall,  by  notification,  constitute  a
      Vigilance Committee for each district and each Sub-Division.
      (2) Each Vigilance Committee constituted for a district shall  consist
      of the following members, namely:--
      (a) the District Magistrate--Chairperson, ex officio;…


      25 - Functions of Vigilance Committee
      The functions of Vigilance Committee shall be--
      (a) to advise the District Magistrate or, as the case may be, the Sub-
      Divisional Magistrate, on the action  which  needs  to  be  taken,  to
      ensure that the provisions of this Act or of any rule made  thereunder
      are properly implemented;
      (b) to oversee  the  economic  and  social  rehabilitation  of  manual
      scavengers;
      (c) to co-ordinate the functions of all concerned agencies with a view
      to  channelise  adequate  credit  for  the  rehabilitation  of  manual
      scavengers;
      (d) to monitor the registration of offences under this Act  and  their
      investigation and prosecution.




      26 - State Monitoring Committee
       (1) Every State Government shall, by notification, constitute a State
      Monitoring Committee, consisting of the following members, namely:--
      (a) the Chief Minister of State  or  a  Minister  nominated  by  him--
      Chairperson, ex officio;…




      27 - Functions of the State Monitoring Committee
      The functions of the State Monitoring Committee shall be--
      (a) to monitor and advise the State Government and  local  authorities
      for effective implementation of this Act;
      (b) to co-ordinate the functions of all concerned agencies;
      (c) to look into any other  matter  incidental  thereto  or  connected
      therewith for implementation of this Act.


                 ***         ***        ***








      29 - Central Monitoring Committee


      (1) The  Central  Government  shall,  by  notification,  constitute  a
      Central Monitoring Committee in accordance with the provisions of this
      section.
      (2) The Central Monitoring Committee shall consist  of  the  following
      members, namely:--
      (a)  The  Union  Minister  for  Social   Justice   and   Empowerment--
      Chairperson, ex officio;…


      30 - Functions of the Central Monitoring Committee


      The functions of the Central Monitoring Committee shall be,--
      (a) to monitor and advise the Central Government and State  Government
      for  effective  implementation  of  this  Act  and  related  laws  and
      programmes;…


      31 - Functions of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis


      (1) The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis  shall  perform  the
      following functions, namely:--
      (a) to monitor the implementation of this Act;
      (b)  to  enquire  into  complaints  regarding  contravention  of   the
      provisions of this Act, and to convey its findings  to  the  concerned
      authorities with recommendations requiring further action; and
      (c) to advise the Central and  the  State  Governments  for  effective
      implementation of the provisions of this Act.
      (d) to take suo motu notice of matter relating  to  non-implementation
      of this Act.”

(ix)  Chapter VIII of the Act contains  miscellaneous  provisions.   Section
33 of the Act provides for duty of local authorities and other  agencies  to
use modern technology for cleaning of sewers, etc.  Section 36  of  the  Act
provides that the  appropriate  Government  shall,  by  notification,  makes
rules for carrying out the  provisions  of  the  Act  within  a  period  not
exceeding three months.  Section 37 of the Act  provides  that  the  Central
Government shall, by notification, publish model rules for the guidance  and
use of the State Governments.

14)   We have already noted various provisions of the 2013 Act and  also  in
the  light  of  various  orders  of  this  Court,  we  issue  the  following
directions:-

(i)   The persons included in the final  list  of  manual  scavengers  under
Sections 11 and 12 of the 2013  Act,  shall  be  rehabilitated  as  per  the
provisions of Part IV of the 2013 Act, in the following manner, namely:-

      (a)  such initial, one time, cash assistance, as may be prescribed;

      (b)   their children shall be  entitled  to  scholarship  as  per  the
      relevant scheme of the Central Government or the State  Government  or
      the local authorities, as the case may be;

      (c)    they  shall  be  allotted  a  residential  plot  and  financial
      assistance  for  house  construction,  or  a  ready-built  house  with
      financial assistance, subject to eligibility and  willingness  of  the
      manual scavenger as per the provisions of the relevant scheme;

      (d)   at least one member of their family, shall be given, subject  to
      eligibility and willingness, training in livelihood skill and shall be
      paid a monthly stipend during such period;

      (e)   at least one adult member  of  their  family,  shall  be  given,
      subject to eligibility and willingness, subsidy and concessional  loan
      for taking up an alternative occupation on sustainable basis,  as  per
      the provisions of the relevant scheme;

      (f)   shall be provided such other legal and programmatic  assistance,
      as the Central Government or  State  Government  may  notify  in  this
      behalf.

(ii)  If the practice of manual scavenging has to be brought to a close  and
also to prevent future generations  from  the  inhuman  practice  of  manual
scavenging, rehabilitation of manual scavengers will need to include:-

      (a)   Sewer deaths – entering sewer lines without safety gears  should
      be made a crime even in emergency situations.  For  each  such  death,
      compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs should be given  to  the  family  of  the
      deceased.

      (b)   Railways –  should  take  time  bound  strategy  to  end  manual
      scavenging on the tracks.

      (c)   Persons released from manual scavenging should not have to cross
      hurdles to receive what is their legitimate due under the law.

      (d)   Provide support for dignified  livelihood  to  safai  karamchari
      women in accordance with their choice of livelihood schemes.

(iii) Identify the families of all persons who have died  in  sewerage  work
(manholes, septic tanks) since 1993 and award compensation  of  Rs.10  lakhs
for each such death to the family members depending on them.

(iv)  Rehabilitation  must  be  based  on  the  principles  of  justice  and
transformation.

15)   In the light of various provisions of the Act referred  to  above  and
the Rules in addition to various directions issued by this Court, we  hereby
direct all  the  State  Governments  and  the  Union  Territories  to  fully
implement the same and take appropriate  action  for  non-implementation  as
well as violation of the provisions contained in the 2013 Act.  Inasmuch  as
the Act 2013 occupies the entire field, we are of the view that  no  further
monitoring is required by this Court.   However,  we  once  again  reiterate
that the duty is cast on all the States and the Union Territories  to  fully
implement and to take action against  the  violators.   Henceforth,  persons
aggrieved are permitted to approach the authorities concerned at  the  first
instance and thereafter the High Court having jurisdiction.



16)   With the above direction, the writ petition is disposed of.  No  order
is required in the contempt petition.


                                  ……….…………………………CJI.


                                       (P. SATHASIVAM)























                                    ………….…………………………J.


                                      (RANJAN GOGOI)






                                  ………….…………………………J.


                                      (N.V. RAMANA)



NEW DELHI;
MARCH 27, 2014.
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