The Delhi High Court Tuesday pulled up the East corporation for not ensuring cleanliness around the newly commissioned Mandoli Jail, which houses over 3,500 prisoners and staff. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued a showcause notice to an East MCD assistant commissioner, who had earlier told the court that the area was being kept clean, asking why contempt action shouldn’t be initiated against him.
The bench was of the view that garbage along the prison’s boundary wall was “contumacious”, and indicated non-compliance of court orders.
The showcause notice was issued after Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s counsel showed photographs of open drains and garbage strewn all around the prison. Taking note of the unhygienic conditions depicted in the photographs, the bench said the situation at the site was “intolerable” and “can seriously impact the health of inmates”.
It had earlier expressed concerns over the unhygienic conditions after advocate Sumer Kumar Sethi, appointed as amicus curiae, said prisoners and officials were disturbed because of pollution and smoke emanating from waste burning by factories and scrap dealers just outside jail number 13 and 14.
The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it last year after several prisoners moved the HC complaining of inhuman conditions, and lack of medical and employment facilities at the jail.
‘Dumping garbage on roads intolerable’
The High Court said the practice of dumping garbage on roads as a mark of protest was “completely intolerable”.
The observations were made by the bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal while referring to the recent agitation by NDMC contractual sanitation workers who dumped garbage outside prominent buildings in Lutyens’ Delhi, demanding regularisation of jobs and better wages.