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HC notice to Delhi govt on PIL seeking financial rehabilitative assistance to bonded labour victims

ANI | Updated: Jan 07, 2021 18:53 IST

By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], January 7 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to respondents on a PIL seeking direction to the Arvind Kejriwal government and others to grant immediate financial rehabilitative assistance to the victims of bonded labour in the national capital.
The plea referred to assistance, as applicable under the Central Sector Scheme 2016 (CS Scheme, 2016) and in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued vide order dated July 4, 2018, passed by the Delhi High Court.
After hearing the submission of the petitioner's counsel, the Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought a response from the Delhi government, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, and others and posted the matter for February 8.
The petitioner, Mohd Kadir Ansari, the father of a minor victim of child bonded labour has filed the Public Interest Litigation on behalf of his child and 87 other victims of forced child labour or bonded labour in New Delhi.

The petitioner was represented by advocate Kriti Awasthi, advocate Nimisha Menon, and advocate Shivangi Yadav.
According to the petitioner, at a tender age of merely 12-13 years, hailing from a socio-economically backward community of Madhubani, Bihar, and facing dire poverty, his child came to Delhi in search of livelihood options.
He was offered employment in New Delhi. However, allegedly during the course of his employment, the petitioner's child was subjected to severe abuse for over a period of two months at the hands of his trafficker/employer who inhumanely compelled the child to work for long hours (14 hours a day) and for less than the statutory minimum wages.
The petitioner's counsel stated that the concerned authorities failed to provide him with timely rehabilitative financial assistance, which the child and other 87 similarly placed victims of bonded labour are entitled in terms of Court's Order.
The High Court while issuing the notice asked the respondents to file a status report on all aspects. Further the respondent counsel for the Delhi government submitted to the court that cheques for 32 children stand signed and are lying with the concerned district magistrates.
As per the petition, Delhi High Court in its 2018 order had issued, an SOP for identification of bonded labourers and release of immediate financial assistance. (ANI)