Don't take our order lightly: says SC to states' secys
The SC today asked the the health and social welfare secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to appear before it and explain their failure in filing affidavits on banning manual scavenging.Updated: Sep 03, 2012 20:01 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the the health and social welfare secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to appear before it and explain their failure in filing affidavits on banning manual scavenging.
Taking strong exception to their failure in complying with its order for filing the affidavits, a bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and SJ Mukhopadhaya said, "It is high time that the Supreme Court order is taken seriously."
The bench also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on each state.
"Don't take our order lightly," the bench said, observing that such attitude on the part of state governments cannot be tolerated.
The court also questioned the authenticity of the affidavit filed by the Uttarakhand government, which claimed there is no manual scavenging in the state despite the 2011 census maintaining that there are thousands of scavenger in the state.
The bench issued show cause notice to the state asking it to explain as to why its affidavit should not be struck down.
The Centre also informed the court that the Cabinet has cleared the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012.
The court had earlier pulled up the Union government for not enacting a law to ban manual scavenging despite repeated assurances by it that it would enact a law to eliminate the abominable practice.
"You are fooling the people. It is really unfortunate that even 65 years after the Independence, manual scavenging should continue in this country. The Directive Principles of State Policy mandates us to prohibit manual scavenging but you are not serious in introducing appropriate legislation," the bench had said.