Free for one month and pay only if you like it. Ramaswamy, S. The main contention of the petitioner-group isthat employment of the children in any industry or in a hazardous industry, is violative of Article 24 ofthe Constitution and derogatory to the mandates contained in Article 39 e and f ofthe Constitution read with the Preamble. Pursuant to the filing of the writ petition, thisCourt appointedPrem Bhai and otherto visit factories manufacturing carpets and to submit their findings asto whether any number of children below the age of 14 years are working in the carpet industry etc.
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The system of bonded labor has been prevalent in various parts of the country since long prior to the attainment of political freedom and it constitutes an ugly and shameful feature of our national life. This system based on exploitation by a few socially and economically powerful persons trading on the misery and suffering of large numbers of men and holding them in bondage is a relic of a feudal hierarchical society which hypocritically proclaims the divinity of men but treats large masses of people belonging to the lower rungs of the social ladder or Economically impoverished segments of society as dirt and chattel.
This system under which one person can be bonded to provide labor to another for years and years until an alleged debts supposed to be wiped out which never seems to happen during the life time of the bonded laborer, is totally incompatible with the new egalitarian socio- economic order which we have promised to build and it is not only an affront to basic human dignity but also constitutes gross and revolting violation of constitutional values.
Administrative and political will to carry out the Constitutional mandate and enforce prohibitive laws of the land failed to produce any results.
Against all odds, Bandhua Mukti Morcha has achieved the release of over 1,24, bonded Indians from the shackles of slavery. A large number of them have been rehabilitated. From the Carpet Industry alone, about a thousand children have been rescued and restored to their parents.
Their rehabilitation has been monitored effectively. BMM has started a campaign for the provision of non-formal, full time education for these children, along with the supply of nutrition to each and also some food security to their poor families. Slavery persists in our age in various forms. The bonded labor system is one of them. Child labour is another kind of bonded labour.
Both arise out of socio-economic and historical reasons. India, the largest democratic country in the world, has 65 million bonded child labourers, and million adult labourers living a life of bondage and contemporary forms of slavery, according to our estimates. Child labour 5 years to 14 years of age is rampant not only in agriculture but also in industries such as those manufacturing matches, locks, carpets, stone quarries, brick kilns, tanneries and diamond cutting and polishing units.
These children are denied their fundamental right to childhood, to education, to play and to dream like a normal child.
They have to labour for more than 8 hours every day. Legal and human rights battles on their behalf have been successfully fought in the Supreme Court of India. Parliament too has been approached. Yet, the 20 year-old struggles is only a beginning. A lot more remains to be done. The petitioner made a survey of some of the stone quarries in Faridabad district near the city of Delhi and found that there were a large number of labourers from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan who were working in these stone quarries under "inhuman and intolerable conditions" and many of whom were bonded labourers.
The petitioner therefore addressed a letter to one of us on 25th February, pointing out that in the mines of Shri S. Sharma, Gurukula Indra Prastha, Post Amar Nagar Faridabad, District, a large number of labourers were languishing under abject conditions of bondage for last about ten years, and the petitioner gave the names of 11 bonded labourers who were from village Asarha, Banner district of Rajasthan, 7 bonded labourers who were from village Bharol, district Jhansi of Madhya Pradesh and 23 bonded labourers who were from village Barodia, Bhanger, TehsilKhurai, district Sagar, M.
The petitioner also annexed to its letter, statements in original bearing the thumb marks or signatures as the case may be of these bended labourers referred to in the letter. The court laid down comprehensive measures for the rehabilitation and supportive working environment of the labourers working in mine leases. The court also directed that the Assistant Labour Commissioner and the Deputy Labour Commissioner should verify whether the nine mining lessees to whom notice had been issued were paying the labourers wages that was commensurate with the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act.
According to the facts stated before the court the mine lessees had been repeatedly and continuously committed gross violation of labour laws including non- payment of minimum wages and the State of Haryana must consider cancellation the leases of the defaulters. Whether Article 32 of the Constitution is attracted to the instant case as no fundamental right of the petitioners or of the workmen referred to in the petition are infringed.
Can a letter addressed by a party to this Court be treated as a writ petition and in the absence of any verified petition this Court can be moved to exercise its writ jurisdiction.
During a proceeding under Article 32 of the Constitution, can this Court be empowered to appoint any commission or an investigating body to enquire into the allegations made and makes a report to this Court on the basis of the enquiry to enable this Court to exercise its power and jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution.
In , the Parliament enacted the Bonded Labour System Abolition Act, and by virtue of the provisions of the said Act, the bonded labour system has been declared to be illegal in this country. Any person who is wrongfully and illegally employed as a labourer in violation of the provisions of the Act, is in essence deprived of his liberty.
A bonded labourer truly becomes a slave and the freedom of a bonded labourer in the matter of his employment and movement is more or less completely taken away and forced labour is thrust upon him. When any bonded labourer approaches this Court, the real grievance that he makes is that he should be freed from this bondage and he prays for being set at liberty and liberty is no doubt a fundamental right guaranteed to every person under the Constitution.
There cannot be any manner of doubt that any person who is wrongfully and illegally detained and is deprived of his liberty can approach this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution for his freedom from wrongful and illegal detention, and for being set at liberty.
The second ground which raises the question whether the letter addressed by a party to this Court can be treated as a writ petition and in the absence of any verified petition this Court can be moved to exercise its writ jurisdiction, is essentially an objection to the procedure to be adopted by this Court in the matter of entertaining a proceeding under Article 32 for enforcement of fundamental rights of the parties.
Article 32 1 of the Constitution which has been earlier set out guarantees the right to move this Court by an appropriate proceeding for the enforcement of the fundamental rights. Article 32 2 confers wide powers on this Court in the matter of granting relief against any violation of the fundamental rights.
Article 32 or for that matter any other article does not lay down any procedure which has to be followed to move this Court for relief against the violation of any fundamental right. Article 32 1 only lays down that the right to move this Court by appropriate proceedings for enforcement of fundamental rights is guaranteed. The fundamental rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and for The enforcement of the fundamental rights very wide powers have been conferred on this Court. Before this Court proceeds to exercise its powers under Article 32 of the Constitution for enforcing the fundamental rights guaranteed, this Court has to be satisfied that there has been a violation of the fundamental rights.
The fundamental rights may be alleged to have been violated under various circumstances. The facts and circumstances differ from case to case. Whenever, however, there is an allegation of violation of fundamental rights, it becomes the responsibility and also the sacred duty of this Court to protect such fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution provided that this Court is satisfied that a case for interference by this Court appears prima facie to have been made out very often the violation of fundamental rights is not admitted or accepted.
On a proper consideration of the materials the Court has to come to a conclusion whether there has been any violation of fundamental rights to enable the Court to grant appropriate reliefs in the matter. In various cases, because of the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case the party approaching this Court for enforcement of fundamental rights may not be in a position to furnish all relevant materials and necessary particulars.
Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India and Others
Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. This writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution has been filed by way of public interest litigation seeking issue of a writ of mandamus directing the Government to take steps to stop employment of children in Carpet Industry in the State of Uttar Pradesh; to appoint a Committee to investigate into their conditions of employment; and to issue such welfare directives as are appropriate for total prohibition on employment of children below 14 years and directing the respondents to give them facilities like education, health, sanitation, nutritious food, etc. The main contention of the petitioner group is that employment of the children in any industry or in a hazardous industry, is violative of Article 24 of the Constitution and derogatory to the mandates contained in Articles 39 e and f and 45 of the Constitution read with the Preamble. Pursuant to the filing of the writ petition, this Court appointed Prem Bhai and others to visit factories manufacturing carpets and to submit their findings as to whether any number of children below the age of 14 years are working in the carpet industry etc. The Commissioner submitted his preliminary report. P Vergese, Ms. Gyansudha Mishra and Dr K.
Bandhua Mukti Morcha versus Union of India AIR 1984 SC 802
Free for one month and pay only if you like it. Bonded Labour System Abolition Act , ss. The commission while confirming he allegations of the petitioner, pointed out in its report that i the whole atmosphere in the alleged stone quarries was full of dust and it was difficult for any one to breathe; ii some of the workmen were not allowed to leave the stone quarries and were providing forced labour; iii there was no facility of providing pure water to drink and the labourers were compelled to drink dirty water from a nullah; iv the labourers were not having proper shelter but were living in jhuggies with stones piled one upon the other as walls and straw covering the top which was too low to stand and which did not afford any protection against sun and rain; v some of the labourers were suffering from chronic diseases; vi no compensation was being paid to labourers who were injured due to accidents arising in the course of employment; vii there were no facilities for medical treatment or schooling. At the direction of the Court, a socio-legal investigation was also carried out and it suggested measures for improving the conditions of the mine workers. The respondents contended: 1 Article 32 of the Constitution is not attracted to the instant case as no fundamental right of the petitioner or of the workmen referred to in the petition is infringed; 2 A letter addressed by a party to this Court cannot be treated as a writ petition; 3 In a proceeding under Art. If any citizen brings before the Court a complaint that a large number of peasants or workers are bonded serfs or are being subjected to exploitation by a few mine lessees or contractors or employers or are being denied the benefits of 69 social welfare laws, the State Government, which is, under our constitutional scheme, charged with the mission of bringing about a new socioeconomic order where there will be social and economic justice for every one equality of status and opportunity for all, would welcome an inquiry by the court, so that if it is found that there are in fact bonded labourers or even if the workers are not bonded in the strict sense of the term as defined in the Bonded Labour System Abolition Act but they are made to provide forced labour or are consigned to a life of utter deprivation and degradation, such a situation can be set right by the State Government. Even if the State Government is on its own inquiry satisfied that the workmen are not bonded and are not compelled to provide forced labour and are living and working in decent conditions with all the basic necessities of life provided to them, the State Government should not baulk an inquiry by the court when a complaint is brought by a citizen, but it should be anxious to satisfy the court and through the court, the people of the country, that it is discharging its constitutional obligation fairly and adequately and the workmen are being ensured social and economic justice.