20/01/2016 11:17 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Madras HC Asks Govt To Compensate Scavengers Dying Of Asphyxiation

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
TO GO WITH AFP STORY 'INDIA-HEALTH-POVERTY-SEWAGE-SCAVENGERS' by Adam PlowrightIn this picture taken on August 10, 2012, 60 year old manual scavenger Kela dumping a basket of human excrement after cleaning toilets in Nekpur village, Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh, some 40 kms east of New Delhi. Already illegal under a largely ineffective 1993 law, the government has promised to have another go at stamping out the practice with new legislation set to come up in the last parliament session of the year, which opens this week. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

CHENNAI -- The Madras High Court has said that the government should compensate scavengers who die of asphyxiation while cleaning septic tanks and manholes in privately-owned buildings.

Also Read: Manual Scavenging Needs To End, Says Modi

Hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Change India, a bench comprising of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, said that the government cannot absolve itself of its responsibility and directed it to recover the compensation from private employers.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, Additional Advocate-General told the bench that there were 16 deaths in works engaged by private owners in the state, but no compensation was paid.

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