15 Nov 2022 10:01 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over Delhi Development Authority (DDA)'s failure to comply with an order directing it to pay a sum of Rs. 10 lakh to families of two men, who died due to inhalation of toxic gases inside a sewer in September.Calling it a "complete asympathetic attitude", a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium...
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over Delhi Development Authority (DDA)'s failure to comply with an order directing it to pay a sum of Rs. 10 lakh to families of two men, who died due to inhalation of toxic gases inside a sewer in September.
Calling it a "complete asympathetic attitude", a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said:
"We are dealing with people who are working for us, so that our life is made comfortable. And this is the manner and method they are being dealt with by the authorities…very unfortunate."
Chief Justice Sharma further remarked "….my head hangs in shame".
The court on October 6 had directed the DDA to pay the compensation to the families of the two deceased persons and also to consider the dependents' claim of compassionate appointment.
Today, the counsel appearing for DDA told the court that it is the duty of the Delhi Government to pay the amount and that it was not responsible for payment of the same.
Observing that the question of liability could have been decided at a later stage, the bench noted that "not even a single rupee" was paid to the families of the deceased by the DDA. It however noted that the Delhi Government has paid Rs. 1 lakh each to the families on September 21.
The court granted 15 days time to the DDA for passing an appropriate order.
It also granted time to the Delhi Government for releasing the remaining amount of Rs 9 lakh to the families of the two men.
The court recorded the submission of the Delhi Government that the DDA was trying to mix up the compensation which is paid on account of 2014 ruling of the Supreme Court in Safai Karamchari Andolan & Ors v. Union Of India. The government submitted that the compensation being paid separately by it is on the basis of a cabinet decision of March 5, 2020.
Seeking a latest status report from the Delhi Government, the court listed the matter for further hearing on December 2.
As per a PTI news report, the two men who died in September were Rohit Chandiliya, who worked as a sweeper at Delhi Development Authority flats and Ashok Kumar, who was a security guard.
The news report stated that while Chandiliya was the first one to go inside the sewer, he fell unconscious after inhaling the toxic gases inside. Thereafter, Kumar went inside the sewer to rescue Chandiliya where he also fell unconscious. The two men were taken to a hospital but were declared brought dead.
Recently, the Centre had informed the Delhi High Court that due to various initiatives brought in by the Government, the number of tragic accidents while cleaning sewers and septic tanks have come down significantly.
The short affidavit was filed by the Central Government through its Department of Social Justice and Empowerment in a PIL filed in 2019 by Advocate Amit Sahni, seeking strict compliance of Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 to prevent loss of lives due to manual cleaning of septic tanks and sewers.