Conduct survey on bonded labourers: SC

Concerned over exploitation of bonded labourers, the Supreme Court on Monday asked for fresh survey to identify them and enhance their rehabilitation package.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra directed all gram panchayats and local bodies to report instances of bonded labour to district authorities, which can work on their rehabilitation.

“Large numbers of children are working as domestic helps in the urban, town and rural areas with no chance to go to schools even though education up to standard VIII is compulsory under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

“Panchayats and local bodies should identify such children and ensure that they get proper education. We are not unmindful of the fact that in some households they treat the domestic help just like their children and give food, clothing and education, but they are exceptions,” the bench said.

The court directed the district magistrates and the states/ UTs to see that the Minimum Wages Act, the Workmen Compensation Act, the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act were properly and effectively implemented.

“Fresh surveys be conducted periodically once in three years in all states/UTs in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the revised report. Findings of the survey should be made a part of a computerised data base available on the websites of all concerned,” the court added.

Validity of NGT Act

In another case, the court asked the Centre to reply to a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the National Green Tribunal Act (NGT Act) 2010, excluding the jurisdiction of a High Court to entertain writ petitions on environment and forest related matters. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued notice to the Centre on the writ petition filed by the MP High Court Bar Association.

HC flayed over RTI activist murder case

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its displeasure over the Gujarat HC order naming BJP MP Dinu Bhai Solanki as prime suspect in the murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethava, without hearing him, DHNS reports. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir ordered notice to Gujarat government and CBI on a petition filed by him challenging the HC’s order of September 25, handing over the probe to the CBI. “We must say we are not happy at all with the HC order... How does he become a main accused when he was not even heard?”  the court said.

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