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Delhi HC raps AAP govt for not regulating placement agencies

The bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by an NGO ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ against the Delhi government’s failure to register placement agencies employing children.

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2018 10:37 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi,delhi HC,AAP govt
The Delhi high court. (HT File Photo )

Terming it “intolerable” and “unacceptable”, the Delhi high court on Wednesday rapped the Delhi government for its failure to register placement agencies in the national capital.

“Where is the compliance? What have you done? This is intolerable and completely unacceptable,” Justice Siddharth Mridul said.

Intending it as a pun on the Delhi government’s labour secretary, the court asked, “What was used to wake up Kumbakarana?”.

“Arouse him from slumber,” it said.

The court also said it was inclined to pass orders to call the secretary-cum-labour commissioner of the Delhi government. “Let him come and explain,” it said.

The bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by an NGO ‘Bachpan Bachao Andolan’ against the Delhi government’s failure to register placement agencies employing children. The NGO said “unregulated functioning of placement agencies” leads to trafficking.

Appearing for the NGO, senior advocate HS Phoolka told the court that the government had failed to implement an earlier order passed by the court in 2010, fixing the responsibilities of each state agency to control trafficking.

He said the government also passed executive orders in 2014 just to hoodwink the court after several applications were filed by the petitioners. But even that order has still not been implemented.

This irked the court, which came down heavily on the AAP government, indicating that it would call the secretary -cum-labour commissioner of the Delhi government.

Appearing for the government, its standing counsel Ramesh Singh sought time to take instructions from the labour department.

On the repeated request of Singh, the court granted two weeks time to the AAP government to file an affidavit, explaining the action taken.

The plea filed through advocate Prabhsahay Kaur alleged that due to the absence of a regulating framework, placement agencies specifically employ children because they are cheaper and can be easily exploited.

It said the non-implementation of the directions is “fuelling a business that thrives on human trafficking by unregulated placement agencies across the national capital”.

The plea also these agencies are unregistered and are outside the net of the authorities and hence are not answerable to anyone unless apprehended.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 10:37 IST