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NHRC summons Delhi UD secy for 'non-submission' of proof of compensation payment

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 4 (PTI) The NHRC on Thursday issued summons to the secretary of the Delhi Urban Development Department, saying it has 'not received' requisite reports and proof of payment of compensation of Rs 10 lakh in case of death of a sanitation worker during cleaning of a sewer line in 2018.

The rights panel, in a statement said, has asked the secretary to appear before it in person in May with the requisite reports.

'The National Human Rights Commission, having not received the requisite reports and the proof of payment of Rs 10 lakh in a case of a death in sewer cleaning, today issued summons to the secretary, Department of Urban Development, Govt. of NCT of Delhi to appear before it in person on 3.5.2021 with the requisite reports.

The incident had happened in Vaishali Extension, Dabri, Delhi on September 14, 2018, and the Commission had registered the case on the basis of a complaint filed by Safai Karamchari Aandolan, an NGO.

The NHRC, 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 government of NCT of Delhi on the pointers raised by it. Hence, it is constrained to invoke Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993'.

The rights panel has further emphasised that non-submission of the report may attract an offence under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, and an initiation of criminal proceedings under a few other sections of the Indian Penal Code 'as well as under Rule 10 & 12 of Order XVI of the Civil Procedure Code for willful omission to produce documents and information,' it said.

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, the statement said.

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 police in the matter,' it said.

In response to the notice of the Commission, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dwarka, Delhi, in a December 2019 report had informed that in the matter an FIR had been registered earlier against the accused, who had hired him, for cleaning the sewer line outside his property, the NHRC statement said.

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 Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dwarka, as per the Supreme Court's guidelines. The charge sheet in the matter had been prepared and would be filed shortly, however, the victim belonged to the OBC Category, hence, the provision under the SC/ST Act, could not be invoked, it said.

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

The Commission had also directed the Delhi government, to inform the steps taken by the state government to prevent such deaths, including availability of safety gears before entering into sewer lines. 'However, no response was received,' it added.

Therefore, a final reminder was issued to the Principal Secretary, Department of Urban Development, through online mode on December 29, 2020, 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,' the statement said. PTI KND KJ KJ