Cancel licences of firms engaging in child labour: HC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cancel licences of firms engaging in child labour: HC

The next time you see a child labourer slogging it out at roadside eateries, vehicle workshops, scrap industries and power looms in Delhi, inform the labour department or the MCD.

delhi Updated: May 09, 2011 00:26 IST
Harish V Nair

The next time you see a child labourer slogging it out at roadside eateries, vehicle workshops, scrap industries and power looms in Delhi, inform the labour department or the MCD.

Delhi government authorities will swoop down on such employers, slap a fine of Rs 20,000 per child labourer in their unit besides cancelling their licences and initiating steps to prosecute them in a court of law under the provisions of the Abolition of Child Labour Act. What's more, the recovered amount will be used for the welfare of the rescued child, thanks to a recent Delhi high court order.

As part of its unprecedented directives to eradicate child labour, a bench of chief justice Dipak Misra and justice Sanjiv Khanna also asked the labour department and the MCD to state these facts clearly in newspaper advertisements.

"The MCD and Delhi government shall publish advertisements in prominent newspapers that if an establishment is found employing children as labourers, their licences would be cancelled. Let advertisements be published in all widely circulated newspapers within two weeks," the court ordered.

So far, the labour department had to wait for a conviction to recover the fine. The court expressed its concern over the increasing number of child labourers in the city and labour department's failure to tackle the situation effectively.

The court directive came after lawyer HS Phoolka representing petitioner NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan submitted that about 2,000 child labourers were rescued by authorities in the past two years ever since the court began hearing the matter on July 15, 2009, but no adequate action, including immediate levy of a fine of Rs 20,000 has been taken against the employers.