Protect dignity of an individual, Article 21 of Indian Constitution
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It’s indeed a great shock to hear the Madras High Court judgment pronounced that , It fines a Dalit couple Rs. 25,000 the reason being that she denied to wash the underwear and do manual scavenging
//In August 2017, a video became viral. In it an employee of Anna University said that the Dean Chitra Selvi forced workers to perform manual scavenging with no protective gear, to perform personal chores in her private residence (including washing her and her husband's underwear and cleaning their home's toilets), and that she allowed her husband to sexual harass them.The woman that made the video, an activist Bharathi had to actually flee Tamil Nadu because she received multiple threats. Moreover, she was branded as being against the Pallar community, that Selvi belongs to. The two complainants belong to the Arunthathiyar community.//
Horrible to hear that judiciary that is expected to protect the fundamental rights of every citizen of India has delivered the below judgement .
//The court said: "Similarly, when a sweeper/scavenger is employed, he/she has to clean up the toilet also, because she was appointed for washing the clothes of all the family members for which she has been paid therefor. Hence, being a domestic maid appointed as Sweeper and Cleaner, she has to wash all the clothes irrespective of the clothes, whether it is inner cloth or outer cloth. Similarly, a Sweeper cannot complain that she cannot be compelled to clean up the toilet, therefore, making a complaint that the scavenger was compelled to clean up the toilet, is wholly unacceptable."//
Is this the kind of judgment expected from land of Social justice ? What does Article 21 of Indian Constitution says? It says that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”.
In the judgment
Bandhua Mukti Morcha vs Union Of India & Ors
Bench: K Ramaswamy, S Saghirahmad - Date Of Judgment: 21/02/1997 in respect of bonded labor and weaker section of the society it was laid that
Article 21 assures the right to live with human dignity, free from exploitation. The state is under a constitutional obligation to see that there is no violation of the fundamental right of any person, particularly when he belongs to the weaker section of the community and is unable to wage a legal battle against a strong and powerful opponent who is exploiting him. Both the Central Government and the State Government are therefore bound to ensure observance of the various social welfare and labour laws enacted by Parliament for the purpose of securing to the workmen a life of basic human dignity in compliance with the directive principles of the state policy.
In another judgment , The Apex Court in the case of S.S. Ahuwalia v. Union of India and others it was held that in the expanded meaning attributed to Article 21 of the Constitution, it is the duty of the State to create a climate where members of the society belonging to different faiths, caste and creed live together and, therefore, the State has a duty to protect their life, liberty, dignity and worth of an individual which should not be jeopardized or endangered. If in any circumstance the state is not able to do so, then it cannot escape the liability to pay compensation.
With the above judgments Supreme Court has withheld the rights of dignity of a person . The judgment pronounced by high court of Madras is completely against that and Article 21 of the constitution .
As responsible law abiding citizens who believe that path to equity of justice is only through upholding social justice we wanted the judgment to be striked down . We expect support for the same from the like minded people.
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