Monday January 20, 2020
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Supreme Court Expresses Concern For Not Providing Protective Gear To Workers

The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern over existence of untouchability and caste discrimination despite 70 years of Independence

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Sewer, Workers, Untouchable, SC, India
Justice Arun Mishra criticised the governments and said that caste discrimination, unfortunately, continues to prevail in society. Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern over existence of untouchability and caste discrimination despite 70 years of Independence and pulled up the Centre and state governments for not providing protective gear to such workers.

“Untouchability was abolished, but this is a question before everyone: do you even shake hands with manual scavengers,” the court asked, pointing out that untouchability is still being practised.

The court’s remarks came while hearing the Centre’s plea seeking the recall of a 2018 judgement which virtually diluted the stringent provisions of immediate arrest and denial of anticipatory bail to the accused on a complaint filed under the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra criticised the governments and said that caste discrimination, unfortunately, continues to prevail in society even after 70 years of Independence.

Observing that caste discrimination continues to exist in society and criticising the deaths of people while involved in cleaning places like manholes and drains, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and state governments for not providing protective gear to such workers.

Sewer, Workers, Untouchable, SC, India
Despite 70 years of Independence and pulled up the Centre and state governments for not providing protective gear to such workers. Wikimedia Commons

Expressing concern on the issue, the apex court said that nowhere else in the world are people sent to die into gas chambers, referring to the recent deaths in different municipalities of cleaners who had descended for cleaning blocked sewer drains.

The bench also said that it is the “most uncivilised and inhuman situation where people involved in manual scavenging are dying every day and no protective gears are provided to them and no action is taken against the authorities.”

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said that no law of tort, which deals with civil wrong and its liabilities thereof, has been developed in the country.The court also noted that there is no law of tort being practiced in India.

“What have you done for manual scavenging? In no other country, people enter manholes without protective gears. What have you done about it?,” the bench asked. “All humans are equal, and when they are equal, you should provide them equal opportunities,” the court said, adding the governments are not even providing such workers an equal chance and basic facilities to clean themselves.

Sewer, Workers, Untouchable, SC, India
Most uncivilised and inhuman situation where people involved in manual scavenging are dying every day and no protective gears are provided to them and no action is taken against the authorities. Wikimedia Commons

The bench, meanwhile, reserved order on the Centre’s plea seeking recall of its 2018 judgment, the case it was hearing originally. The apex court also asked the parties to submit their written submissions and said that the batch of petitions challenging the Amendment to the Act will be heard separately, next week. The Supreme Court on Friday had referred the Centre’s plea on the 2018 judgment to a larger bench.

The Centre had stated that the judgment diluting the stringent provision of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act had “seriously affected the morale of these communities and the confidence in the ability of the state to protect them”.

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The apex court in its March 20 judgement had said: “…in absence of any other independent offence calling for arrest, in respect of offences under the Atrocities Act, no arrest may be effected without the permission of appointing authority in case of public servant or that of Senior Superintendent of Police in case of general public”.

The court had said it was providing the safeguard “in view of acknowledged abuse of law of arrest” under the Act. “It’s necessary to express concern that working of the Atrocities Act should not result in perpetuating casteism, which can have an adverse impact on integration of the society and the constitutional values,” it said. (IANS)

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#WhatsAppDown Trends on Twitter As Messaging App WhatsApp Faces Outrage in India

People rushed to Twitter to report the issue

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After users reported on Twitter, WhatsApp was yet to notify users about how the problem began. Pixabay

WhatsApp users in several parts of the world, including in India, on Sunday took to Twitter to report several issues with the mobile messaging platform.

Millions of users were unable to share videos, photos and GIFs, audio and stickers and several of those said they were even unable to view WhatsApp Status feature.

According to Downdetetector.com, the problem started in the evening around 4 p.m. and alive outage map showed users in India, Europe, Brazil and in Southeast Asia were affected by the outage.

“WhatsApp is restoring the service. The server issue should be fixed now,” said WABetainfo.com, a fan website that tracks WhatsApp.

“2 min silence for the peoples who talked about the updates on last post,” tweeted one user.

“Stickers can be sent now, the service should be restored completely soon,” tweeted another.

WhatsApp was yet to notify users about how the problem began.

Twitter
#whatsappdown trended on twitter with 8,246 Tweets as a large number of reports from users stated that WhatsApp is currently down or not working. Pixabay

People rushed to Twitter to report the issue.

“Me waiting for my WhatsApp status update to actually upload. #whatsappdown,” tweeted a user.

Another joined: “RIP WhatsApp. Impossible mandate file multimedia.”

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#whatsappdown trended on twitter with 8,246 Tweets as a large number of reports from users stated that WhatsApp is currently down or not working. (IANS)