The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre, states and Union Territories (UTs) to respond to 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 MR Shah agreed to hear the plea filed by advocate GS Mani who has also sought direction to the authorities to take action against erring government officials for non-compliance of directions given by the top court in 2010.
The bench issued notices to the Centre, states and UT on the plea and asked them to file their replies.
In his plea, Mr Mani has urged the top court to call for the records from the Centre, states and UTs regarding steps taken by them to prevent children from falling into open or abandoned borewell pursuant to the directions given by the apex court in its August 2010 order.
He said citizens were being "victimised" due to failure of administration to close these open borewells as several deaths have been reported from across the country due to this.
Giving details of such incidents, the plea said that first such case was highlighted in 2006 when a child was rescued by the army from an open borewell.
He has also referred to the October last year incident in Tamil Nadu in which a three-year-old child Sujith Wilson had died after falling in an open borewell.
The plea claimed that despite guidelines issued by the top court in August 2010, so many incidents of children falling into abandoned borewells have happened across the country and it is clear that authorities have failed to take effective steps to prevent these deaths.
"A judicial verdict must be implemented by the concerned authorities in full letter and spirit. Mere compliance on paper will not give full effect of implementation of court verdict," it said.
"All states/ Central and UTs authorities have only issued certain communication between each other for compliance of this court's guidelines on paper. No effective steps and necessary actions have been taken," the plea alleged and sought forthwith compliance of top court's guidelines.
It has also sought a direction to the Centre, all states and UTs to frame proper guidelines and methods with adequate well-advances equipments and expertise to rescue children who fall into abandoned borewell in future.
It has sought a judicial inquiry, headed by a retired judge of either the top court or the Madras High Court, to conduct an inquiry into the death of Sujith Wilson and also on the failure of authorities to immediately rescue him.