SC frowns on failure to cap borewells

Last Updated 09 July 2010, 17:15 IST

The apex court was displeased over the failure to comply with its orders in the matter.
Senior advocate P S Patwalia, who is assisting the court as an amicus curie, submitted that despite a strict order to the authorities to cap the abandoned wells, a child fell to her death in a village in Punjab recently.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said, “This will not stop unless we take action.” Patwalia said, “Nothing seems to have been done,” as a one-and-a-half year-old girl died after falling into a 200-foot-deep borewell on June 2 in Dhira village near Batala town in Gurdaspur district.

The bench directed the state governments to file an action taken report in four weeks and asked the advocate to make a list of the states which have not taken action on its Februrary 11 order.

On February 11, 2010, the Supreme Court had fixed the responsibility on the district magistrates to cap the discarded bore-well in their respective areas.
The apex court had said if a bore-well or tube well was abandoned at any stage, a certificate from the concerned department of ground water or public health or municipal corporation or private contractors had to be obtained after properly capping for safety so that small children did not fall into them.

R V Rama Mohan had written a letter to the Registrar, Supreme Court on November 26, 2008 seeking direction to the authorities to take steps for prevention of fatal accidents of children in this manner.

On February 13, 2009, the bench had issued notices to states, seeking details of the measures undertaken by them to prevent the recurrence of incidents of children falling into bore-wells dug in rural areas for irrigation but left open after their use.

The apex court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to stop commercialisation of Jallikattu, the bull taming festival in the state.

“Jallikattu has become an industry and people are making money. This is normally done during Pongal. How can you stretch it for five months from January to May?’’ asked a bench headed by Justice R V Raveendran opposing the new law to regulate Jallikattu.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium appearing for Tamil Nadu submitted that the state had enacted a new law to regulate the festival and it would be organised under the supervision of the authorities in 129 places between January and May every year.  The bench suggested an amount of Rs 20 lakh as payment for the death of a person and some amount to the injured which would be working as deterrent to the organisers.

(Published 09 July 2010, 17:15 IST)

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