The Delhi High Court on Monday, 12 September, took suo motu cognizance of the death of two persons from inhaling toxic gases inside a sewer, while one of them was cleaning a drain in the national capital's Mundka on Friday, 9 September.
The court directed that a public interest litigation be registered over the deaths of the two men.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued a notice to the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD), the Chief Secretary of the Delhi government, and Delhi Jal Board, reported LiveLaw.
"There is a Supreme Court judgement on the subject which says that the moment the death takes place of a person who is manually doing this scavenging work, the family is entitled to (certain assistance)… plus a job to one of the members of the family," PTI quoted Justice Sharma as saying.
On 9 September, two men – a sweeper and a security guard – died in Mundka’s Bakkarwala area after they inhaled toxic gases inside a sewer they had gone down to clean. The two men were identified as Rohit Chandilya, 32, and Ashok, 30.
Chandilya, who is survived by his wife and a two-year-old son, was the sole breadwinner for his family, according to PTI.
Chandiliya was reportedly the first one to enter the sewer drain. He reportedly fell unconscious after inhaling the toxic gases inside. After that Ashok went in to rescue him but he also fell unconscious.
They were taken to a hospital where they both were declared brought dead. A case under section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.
In August, the Centre told the Parliament that between 2017 and 2021, as many as 330 people died cleaning sewers and septic tanks.
(With inputs from PTI and LiveLaw. )