Cleaning of drains and septic tanks claims 110 lives in 2019
The number of people who died while cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the country increased by almost 62% from 68 in 2018 to 110 in 2019, according to a reply given by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry to the Lok Sabha.
The reply said a total of 14,559 manual scavengers had been identified by Municipalities and Gram Panchayats in 13 States from 2013-2014 till January 31, 2020. Apart from that, a national survey was conducted in 194 districts in 18 States where 48,345 manual scavengers were identified till January 31, taking the total to 62,904.
Prevention of Manual Scavenging Act, 2013 –
- The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 is wider in scope and importance, acknowledging the urgency of rehabilitating manual scavengers.
- The act seeks to reinforce this ban by prohibiting manual scavenging in all forms and ensures the rehabilitation of manual scavengers to be identified through a mandatory survey.
- It seeks to prohibit the construction or maintenance of insanitary toilets.
- It prohibits the engagement or employment of anyone as a manual scavenger violations could result in a years’ imprisonment or a fine of INR 50,000 or both.
- It prohibits a person from being engaged or employed for hazardous cleaning of a sewer or a septic tank.
- The offences under the Act are cognizable and non-bailable.
- It calls for a survey of manual scavengers in urban and rural areas within a time-bound framework.
Privilege Motion against Minister
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has informed the House that he had received the notice of privilege motion against Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot for his statement on the Supreme Court order on the issue of reservation in promotion for the SCs/STs and the OBCs.
About Privilege Motion –
- Parliamentary privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can ‘effectively discharge their functions’.
- When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
- A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.
- Each House also claims the right to punish as contempt actions which, while not breach of any specific privilege, are offences against its authority and dignity.
- Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook governs privilege.
- The Speaker/Chair is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion. The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament. If the Speaker/Chair gives consent under Rule 222, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement.
- Lok Sabha – Privilege Committee consists of 15 members, nominated by Speaker. Rajya Sabha – Deputy Chairperson heads the committee of privileges, consisting of 10 members.
Draft Arbitration Council of India Rules
The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC), Act 2019 was enacted with a view to provide for the establishment and incorporation of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration and to make it a hub for institutional arbitration and to declare the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre to be an institution of national importance. The Act replaced the ordinance on the subject which had come into force on 2nd March, 2019.
- As per section 5 of the Act, NDIAC will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, law or management, to be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
- Besides, it will also have two Full-time or Part-time Members from amongst eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration, both domestic and international.
- In addition, one representative of a recognised body of commerce and industry shall be nominated on rotational basis as a Part-time Member.
- The Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice; Financial Adviser nominated by Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and Chief Executive Officer, NDIAC will be ex-officio Members.