NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre, States and Union Territories (UTs) to respond on a plea seeking action against authorities for failing to prevent children from falling into abandoned or open borewells and dying across the country.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah agreed to hear the plea filed by advocate G S Mani who has also sought a direction to the authorities to take action against erring government officials for non-compliance of directions given by the top court in 2010.
The plea referred to the October 2019 incident in Tamil Nadu in which a three-year-old child, Sujith Wilson, had died after falling in an open borewell and urged the top court to call for the records from the Centre, states and UTs regarding steps taken to prevent children from falling into open or abandoned borewells pursuant to the directions given by the SC in its August 2010 order.
Despite the SC guidelines, many incidents of children falling into abandoned borewells have taken place across the country and it is clear that the authorities have failed to take effective steps to prevent these deaths, the petition stated.
It has also sought a direction to the Centre, all states and UTs to frame proper guidelines and methods with adequate equipment and expertise to rescue children who fall into abandoned borewells in future.
The plea also sought a judicial inquiry, headed by a retired judge of either the apex court or the Madras High Court, to conduct an inquiry into the death of Sujith and also on the failure of authorities to rescue him.