The inhuman practice of manual scavenging cannot go on and must be stopped immediately, the Madras High Court said on Wednesday. .During the course of the hearing, Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee also pointed out there is an element of untouchability and perpetuation of the caste system when manual scavengers are engaged.."These are the lowest of the low. A person like you and I wouldn’t do this. We take advantage of the innocence of these people and send them down... untouchability, caste system practices - it's the same thing. Harijans, as Gandhi called it... you get it done by those people," he observed..Chief Justice Banerjee further observed that if not directly, manual scavengers are often employed indirectly through contractors to minimise costs or to evade responsibility for engaging such workers. The practice of hiring labour through contractors has been done by the State as well as the High Court, the Chief Justice orally observed. .NGO Safai Karamchari Andolan today submitted details on the number of deaths that had taken place due to manual scavenging in Tamil Nadu in January and February this year. .Appearing for the NGO, Advocate Srinath Sridevan submitted that local bodies were engaging manual scavengers in violation of court orders. He argued that orders should be passed which would have a chilling effect to prevent such engagement of manual scavengers. ."These inhuman practices cannot go on...This cannot go on in any civilised place," Chief Justice Banerjee remarked. .He said that it is inhuman and prohibited under law. "Whether any manual scavenging is undertaken, directly or indirectly this must be stopped... It is inhuman. There is a statute that prohibits it. In certain cases, where all gadgets are available, you don't need to send human beings down in pits.".Last week, the Court had declined to proceed on the basis of "sheets of paper" and oral submissions made by the NGO. .Courts cannot be reckless in receiving sheets of paper without any basis: Madras High Court while hearing PIL against Manual Scavenging .Chief Justice Banerjee said today that he had sought particulars on the issue as the Court views the matter as serious and "heads have to roll" if it is found that manual scavenging has been engaged directly or indirectly by State authorities. He told the State today that the practice must be stopped immediately. .“Please take it very seriously... As of this moment, it has to be stopped...This can't go on in this age!".He added that the government has to enquire into cases where persons have allegedly died of manual scavenging so that compensation can be paid to the families. .The State, in turn, undertook to ensure that there is some positive development on the issue. Counsel for the State assured the Court that he would take a personal interest in the case. .The Chennai Corporation sought access to the affidavit filed by Safai Karamchari Andolan. In view of the same, the Court adjourned the matter for further hearing on Tuesday. The Court has tasked the State counsel to obtain information from all districts, including municipal corporations, on the alleged violations complained of.