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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on September 21 sought the response of the Delhi Police, DDA, and National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) in a matter relating to the death of two persons who inhaled toxic gases inside a sewer in the national capital.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad was hearing public interest litigation (PIL) initiated on its own based on a news report of September 11.
A sweeper and a security guard died on September 9 in Outer Delhi’s Mundka area after they inhaled toxic gases inside a sewer.
When the sweeper had gone down to clean the sewer, he fainted and the guard followed to rescue him and he also fell unconscious, the police had said.
The two men were taken to a hospital where they were declared brought dead.
During the hearing, the bench was informed by the counsel for Delhi Jal Board (DJB) that the area where the incident took place comes under the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and even the sweeper was an employee of DDA.
DJB’s counsel said it was not entitled to pay compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased and the appropriate authority would be DDA.
The counsel for MCD also made similar submissions.
Senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao, who was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter, said Delhi Police and NCSK shall also be made parties to the petition.
The bench, thereafter, issued notices to DDA, Delhi Police, and NCSK and listed the matter for further hearing on September 27.
On September 12, the high court had taken suo motu cognisance of the death of the two persons and directed that a PIL be registered on the issue.
The bench had said, “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.”