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The Supreme Court on Monday said that it would refrain from issuing a direction which may be questioned on the grounds on its (apex court) authority or jurisdiction. “Once we issue an order, we will take it to its logical conclusion. We don’t want to be confronted with grey areas,” said the apex court bench of Chief Justice SH Kapadia, Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar.

The court said this when senior counsel PS Narasimha asked it to give directions to Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Mizoram to issue a notification for adopting the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.

“We don’t want a situation where we are told that our orders will not be implemented,” Chief Justice Kapadia told the senior counsel.

“We will enforce our orders once we issue them”, the court said.

When Narasimha said that the court had all the powers to issue such directions, Chief Justice Kapadia asked counsel to show a judgment of the apex court stating this.

As per the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, there were 14,479 manual scavengers in Delhi in 2007. The figures stood at 2,734 for Himachal Pradesh. For Sikkim and Mizoram no data was made available to the court by the petitioner, Safai Karamchari Andolan.

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