Thursday, April 03, 2014

Thanks to Shri Anil Parashar and NHRC for support of Bonded labour

Case Details of File Number: 10928/24/72/2014-BL

The Commission takes suo motu cognizance of the report of Joint Registrar (Law) of the Commission, who was on official tour to Varanasi, Chunar and Mirzapur from 26th to 27th March, 2014. It has been stated that on the way to Chunar, a large number of Brick Kilns on both the sides of the road (Varanasi-Mirzapur Highway) are functional. It was observed that a large number of children, women along with men are working in the Brick Kilns. Small huts were noticed which appeared to be used for residential purpose of these workers. On inquiries from the driver and other NGOs, it was revealed that most of the workers were from the State of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. I was also informed that these workers live in pathetic conditions and there is no effective control of government machinery over them. No raids reportedly, are being conducted by State machinery due to terror of mafia. In view of the facts and circumstances noted above, the District Magistrate, Varanasi and District Magistrate, Mirzapur are directed to submit the following information:- 1. Number of surprise checks/ raids conducted by the District Vigilance Committees in the last one year. 2. Total number of Brick Kilns operating in Varanasi and Mirzapur, UP, with their names and addresses. 3. Whether all the Brick Kiln owners have obtained license to run the Brick Kiln from the competent authority. If yes, the details thereof. If not then as to how these Brick Kilns are allowed to operate and forward the names of officers with designation responsible for allowing illegal running of such Brick Kilns in their jurisdiction? 4. Total number of labourers male, female and children with their residential addresses and age. 5. Number of labourers belonging to SC/ST/OBC. 6. Whether provisions of SC/ST Act are being followed. 7. Whether the wages paid to the labouers are in conformity with the notified minimum wages 8. Mode of payment of wages. Amount of wages paid to them - monthly/fortnightly. Is it in conformity with the notified minimum wages? 9. Whether the labourers were employed directly or through an agent/ thekedar/ contractor and whether such an agent obtained a license under the law or not? 10. Whether the recruiting agents obtained a license under the Inter-state Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act 1979. Whether the Principal employer obtained a Registration Certificate under the Act or not, and whether the brick-kiln operator paid benefits under the aforesaid Act and the Rules made thereunder or not. If there is failure, forward the names of officers with their designations. 11. Whether the brick-kiln owner has followed all the provisions contained in the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the Rules made thereunder or not. If not, what action is taken? 12. Forward the legible copies of wages register, muster roll, wage slips, copies of Registers required to be maintained under various labour legislations (Payment of Wages Act, Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act. 13. Whether Vigilance Committee as mandated under the provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolitions) Act, 1976, was constituted or not. If not, the reasons thereof. If functioning, since when? You may give all the details of the Committee constituted according to law. 14. Whether the members of the Vigilance Committee belonging to SC & ST accompanied the team or not? If not, the reasons of the same to be conveyed. 15. In view of the averments made in the complaint and in absence of documents required to be maintained and in absence of benefit to be extended as mandated by law, you are duty bound to raise the presumption. Your attention is drawn to the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in cases i.e. (a) Bandhua Mukthi Morcha delivered on 16.12.1983 in Writ Petition No.2135. (b) People's Union for Democratic Rights v/s Union of India (1982) 3 SCC at 259. (c) Sanjit Roy v/s State of Rajasthan (1983) SCC 525 at 535. (d) Neeraja Choudhary v/s State of M.P. (1984) 3SCC 243 at 250. The District Magistrates, Varanasi and Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh are asked to submit the complete report on the aforesaid points in respect of all the Brick Kiln operating in their District together with the Action Taken Report within eight weeks.

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