Construction workers should not be denied benefits due to change in address: Delhi High CourtUpdated: Jul 03, 2020 23:09 IST
The Delhi High Court has directed the state government to not collect the present address of construction workers or the Aadhaar details of their family at the time of their registration with the welfare board.
A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said that the Delhi government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare (BOCWW) Board was not justified in seeking these details. The court said that the workers were mostly migrants and, therefore, they may change their address every time they take up new jobs.
“The Board should, therefore, not require the applicants to provide theirpresent address and, instead, should be satisfied by requiring the applicants to disclose the name, address and registration number of the establishment where the applicant is working,” the bench said.
The court’s order comes while hearing a plea by social worker Sunil Kumar Aledia filed through his advocate Shiven Verma, seeking directions to the Delhi government to provide relief to workers and labourers, including cash transfers, to all who had registered in the last two years.
On Thursday, advocate Shyel Trehan, who had also filed an application claiming that the benefits of various schemes for the construction workers was not being implemented, said that the registration forms have been asking for the “Present address” of the workers. She also said that the details sought also include the aadhaar card details of the family members.
Appearing for the Delhi government , its additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose, told the court that the move was taken in case the Board comes up with some scheme for the benefit of family members of the applicant. He submitted that there are schemes for providing benefits to the children of construction workers for their education, marriage, etc.
However, the court said that the details when there is rush as well as urgency for grant of renewal of registrations due to the pandemic, the collection of information about the family members with their Aadhar Cards details should be suspended, at least, in respect of those applicants who are seeking renewal of their lapsed registration.
Advocate Trehan told the court that in rural parts of India, dates of birth may not be correctly recorded and known to the applicants and quite often, the dates of birth are randomly filled by the applicants even while obtaining their Adhaar Cards. Hence there can be mismatch in the dates of birth as disclosed in the Adhaar Card, and in the application form.
The court said that the officers, in such cases, should call the concerned person and resolve the problems. It asked the Board to make necessary changes in the application form and said that changes should also be brought in the website considering that it has to deal with lakhs of workmen. It said that the Board has sufficient funds and hence there should not be any difficulty in the updating the system.
The bench said that the Board should make endeavour to reduce the requirement of uploading documents only to the bare minimum for the purpose of registration/ renewal of registration.
“For the purpose of renewal, the Board should not require submission of documents, which the applicants have submitted at the time of initial registration,” the court said. It also asked Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to look into the aspect of appointing volunteers for helping in the registration process after Secretary DSLSA Kanwaljeet Arora told the court that he can appoint 100 lawyers for the purpose.
The matter would be now heard on July 9.