The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (‘Act’) bans manual scavenging in India. It casts stringent penalties for violation of the Act and provides for rehabilitation and compensation of manual scavengers. Even though manual scavenging is outlawed, it seems to be on a rise, especially in Tamil Nadu.
Under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, every citizen of this country has the right to constitutional remedies when their fundamental rights have been violated by the State. These remedies may be accessed by approaching the respective High Court. However, during the lockdown imposed due to the outbreak of COVID-19, these constitutional guarantees remained only on paper in Tamil Nadu. Both the Chennai and Madurai benches of the Madras High Court and their Subordinates Courts have shut their doors, of course with the primary intention of controlling the spread of COVID-19. However, the courts and the legal process have become completely inaccessible for the common man, especially the most vulnerable sections of the society like individuals from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.
As part of its work on equality and non-discrimination, CLPR conducted a study on experiences of intersectional discrimination in South India between May – November, 2018. The objective of the study was to understand the relationship between different intersecting identities and various sites of discrimination such as educational institutions, workplaces, police stations, and public transport.
We analyse the implementation of the POSH Act in Tamil Nadu. The Act aims to prevent the sexual harassment of women in the workplace. The Social Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu reports that only 1317 of the several lakh workplaces have established mandatory Internal Complaints Committees.
Is the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (PCMA) being successfully implemented in Tamil Nadu? In 2009, the State framed rules regarding the monitoring and reporting of instances of child marriage by detailing the responsibilities of CMPOs and appointing ‘Panchayat Level Core Committees’ to assist CMPOs.
We analyse the implementation of the POCSO Act in the State of Tamil Nadu. There appear to be various issues with its implementation in Tamil Nadu, such as the frequent use of the two-finger test by doctors examining the victims of sexual offences. The Supreme Court has established that the test violates the right to privacy, nevertheless it is frequently used in Tamil Nadu.
In V Surendra Mohan vs. State of Tamil Nadu (2019), the Supreme Court upheld the State’s policy of restricting the eligibility of blind and deaf candidates for the reserved posts of civil judge to those with 40-50% of their respective disabilities.