Police have registered a case of domestic child labour against a senior IAS official who allegedly employed an 11-year-old child to work at his home. Police lodged the case in accordance with an order by the Child Welfare Committee.
The boy (name held back to protect the identity of the child) was made to work from 5 am till midnight at the home of the IAS official, residing in Kaka Nagar, said the order.
A volunteer of an NGO Salam Balak Trust found the child near a petrol pump in Kaka Nagar on January 27 and took him to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) at Lajpat Nagar the same day.
The boy confirmed before the Committee that he was made to sleep on the floor and was often scolded and even beaten. The child claimed that he was working at this officer's residence since the last four years and was being paid a mere Rs 500 annually.
The Committee's bench of magistrates, headed by Raj Mangal Prasad directed the SHO of the Nizamuddin police station to file a First Information Report (FIR) for necessary legal action under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act 1986, Child Labour Act 1986 and the Bonded Labour Act, 1976.
The child is presently lodged with the NGO's shelter home and the case has been transferred to Mayur Vihar CWC owing to the child's shelter home location.
However, despite CWC's directives, police did not register any offence under the Bonded Labour Act, 1976. The FIR only mentions (section 23 & 26 of) the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 and (section 3 & 14 of) the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986.
When the FIR mentions section 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act, police are liable to arrest the accused and he can be granted bail only by a magistrate. However, the official was not arrested till Sunday.
“Though we are yet to make an arrest, investigations are on,” said V.S. Chahal, Additional Commissioner of Police (South-East Delhi).