NHRC dismisses Govt's claims on child labour in mines

The matter of child labour in Bellary mines came up for hearing before the full bench of the NHRC during its two-day meeting for the four southern states in Bangalore. The sitting was chaired by NHRC member Justice B C Patel.

The Commission came down heavily on the State government for the faulty investigation, leading to large scale acquittals. It not only rubbished the investigation report submitted by the State government, but also directed the additional chief secretary to re-look into the issue and ensure that benefits under the child labour laws are made available to the victims.

The Commission has given six weeks’ time to the State government to submit a fresh report on the issue.

The human rights groups had complained about the child labour in the Bellary mines while the State government constantly dismissed such complaints.

Some of the groups took the issue to the NHRC which directed the State government to submit an investigation report. However, the investigation report had dismissed the complaints about child labour there.

At the conclusion of the two-day sitting Justice B C Patel told reporters that a monetary compensation of Rs 19.8 lakh has been recommended in nine cases from four southern states namely- Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

On custodial and encounter deaths, Justice Patel said several directions were given to the State governments through the Chief Secretaries and the Director Generals of Police to uphold the human rights and brief it on regular basis about the developments pertaining to the human rights violation cases.

During the meeting, 22 cases were disposed of while six cases were considered for hearing. In a case related to custodial death of Srinivas in Kolar (Karnataka), the NHRC ordered a compensation of Rs three lakh to the next to the kin.

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