Safai karamcharis not entitled to create anarchy in society: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea filed by East Delhi Municipal Corporation against its safai karamcharis while stating that municipal safai karamcharis if they have any grievance and resort to legal strike, they are not entitled to take the law into their own hands and create anarchy in society. 

The petition was filed in the backdrop of the strike by safai karamcharis, who were obstructing the regular work of cleaning and dumping garbage on streets. 

During the course of hearing on Friday, the Court was informed that the strike by sanitation workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), which began on January 15 demanding the payments of salaries pending since December 2020, was called off and they will resume their duties by Saturday, after EDMC cleared all dues. 

During the Course of hearing, photographs were placed on record by the EDMC. From the perusal of the same the Court said, it appears that the drivers of the vehicles carrying garbage were waylaid by miscreants, who left the garbage in these vehicles lying strewn on the streets.

A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli said everyone should realise that in a civilised society, such anarchy cannot be permitted to prevail, and it is essential for everyone to maintain the Rule of Law and Public Order. All the concerned authorities, including the Police must take all necessary steps to prevent such situations, and to strictly deal with any such menace created by the miscreants. 

The Court said, “Mischievous and unruly persons who take the law into their hands and create anarchy and nuisance in the society do not deserve to be shown any leniency or compassion. The State should send a stern and clear message to the society at large of their duty to remain within the bounds of law even while agitating their cause, and it cannot fail to enforce the law - lest it leads to breach of peace; loss of life and damage to public and private protect, and; conveys the impression that the State is helpless and unable to deal with the situation. Over indulgence and uncalled forpatience–whenthelawand order is being breached; Public and Private property is being damaged and public servants and other citizens are being made to suffer, gives rise to the impression that the State is weak and soft, and emboldens the miscreants – who have no respect for the law, to further breach the law and to take it into their hands. Thus, all such elements should be dealt with befittingly, as and when the situation requires.”

The Court has directed the Commissioner of Police to take all steps necessary to maintain the law and order and prevent the kind of conduct that some of the miscreants. 

The Court has further directed the safai karamcharis of the two respondent unions, as well as all other safai karamcharis of the Municipal Corporations in Delhi, and their unions, not to take law into their hands by causing obstruction in removal of garbage or by strewing it on the streets of the city. They are also directed not to obstruct or block the ingress and egress into the offices of the Municipal Corporations. “We direct the Municipal Corporations to take strict disciplinary action against any safai karmachari, found to be indulging in such like activities,” said the Court. 

The Court has directed the Safai Karamcharis Union to file response to the present petition within three weeks, and list the matter for hearing on March 4, 2021. The Court has also directed the President and Secretary of the Safai Karamcharis Unions to remain present personally on next date. 

The Court was hearing the petition filed by East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) which has sought legal action against the ‘miscreants’ who were “illegally waylaying garbage removal trucks, threatening drivers and dumping garbage openly on the roads and streets”. 

In a similar matter the Delhi High Court had earlier directed the Delhi Police commissioner to constitute specific task forces in each ward in east Delhi, which will be headed by a police officer not below the rank of a sub-Inspector to oversee the removal of garbage by the agencies employed by the EDMC.

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