Tue, 13 Apr 2021

NHRC summons Delhi Urban Development Secretary

ANI
05 Mar 2021, 01:55 GMT+10

New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued summon against the Delhi Urban Development Secretary for non-submission of proof of payment and requisite reports over a death of a safai karamchari during sewer cleaning in 2018.

The NHRC, having not received requisite reports and the proof of payment of Rs. 10 Lakh in the case of death in sewer cleaning, has asked the Secretary of the Department of Urban Development under the Delhi government to appear before it on March 5 with the requisite reports.

According to a statement issued by NHRC, the Commission had registered a case on the basis of a complaint dated September 18, 2018, by Safai Karamchari Aandolan, an NGO for the incident that had happened in Vaishali Extension in the national capital on September 14, 2018.

"According to the complaint, the safai karamchari had died due to inhaling poisonous gas while cleaning a sewer and no appropriate action was taken by the police in the matter," the statement read.

The Commission, issuing the conditional summons, has observed that there has already been an inordinate delay in the matter as no response has been received from the Delhi government on the pointers raised by it.

"Hence, it is constrained to invoke Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993," the statement said.

It has further emphasized that non-submission of the report may attract an offence under sections 175/176 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and initiation of criminal proceedings under sections 175/ 176 IPC, as well as under Rule 1012 of Order XVI of Civil Procedure Code for willful omission to produce documents and information.

In case, the report is received in the Commission a week prior to the scheduled date, the personal appearance of the officer shall stand dispensed with.

In response to the notice of the Commission, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dwarka, vide report dated December 31, 2019, had informed that in the matter an FIR No. 500/18, dated September 15, 2018, under section 304/304A IPC, r/w 7/9 of Prohibition of Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation Act, 2013, had been registered against the accused, who has hired the victim, for cleaning the sewer line outside his property.

It was also informed that the accused was arrested on October 1, 2018. The compensation of Rs.10 Lakh had been paid to the mother of the deceased by the SDM of Dwarka, as per Supreme Court guidelines.

However, the Commission observed that the report was silent on the proof of payment of compensation of Rs.10 Lakh to the mother of the deceased victim. A notice was issued to SDM, Dwarka, to submit the proof of payment.

The Commission had also directed the Delhi government to inform regarding the steps taken by the State Government to prevent such deaths, including the availability of safety gears before entering in sewer lines. However, no response was received.

Therefore, a final reminder was issued to the Principal Secretary of Department of Urban Development, through online mode on December 29 last year, to submit the requisite detailed reports, failing which the Commission shall be constrained to issue a coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. (ANI)

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