Release and Rehabilitate bonded labourer Surjan Singh (Code: 01636, Date: 08-Aug-2015 )

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Case Title

Case primary details

Case posted by Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan
Case code 01636
Case year 08-Aug-2015
Type of atrocity Begar or other forms of forced or bonded labour
Whether the case is being followed in the court or not? No

Fact Finding

Fact finding date

Fact finding date Not recorded

Case Incident

Case Incident details

Case incident date 08-Aug-2015
Place Village: Not recorded
Taluka:Not recorded
District: MOGA
State: Punjab
Police station Not recorded
Complaint date 31-Dec-1969
FIR date 31-Dec-1969

Case brief

Case summary

one Surjan Singh S/o Jagir Singh, R/o Village- Musewal, Police Station- Kot Esse Kha, tehsil- Dharamkot, District- Moga(He is living with the family of his daughter Raj Kaur’s in laws house) has approached VSJ office and narrated the following facts:-

 

(a)       That he belongs to “Jatt Sikh” community.

 

(b)   That from last five years he has been employed to work as “Siri” agriculture bonded labourer by one Gurmail Singh@ Gela S/o Sh. Gurdayal Singh R/o Village- Musewal, tehsil- Dharamkot, District- Moga who also belongs to Jatt Sikh community.

 

(c)    That when he was employed by Gurmail Singh@ Gela give him Rs.5000 (Rupees five thousand) as an advance. Gurmail Singh@ Gela  fixed his annual wages Rs. 50,000/- and said that he will increase Rs. 1000/- in his annual salary every year.

 

(d)   That he is working for the employer for day and night. Gurmail Singh@ Gela was not allowing him to go to his house. When he goes to his house Gurmail Singh@ Gela allows him only to stay in his house only for one hour. If he stays more than one hour then Gurmail Singh@ Gela comes to his house and abused him and brings him back to his work.

 

(e)    That he was also take care the 7 buffalos of Gurmail Singh@ Gela.

 

(f)    That Gurmail Singh@ Gela is providing him two times meals.

 

(g)   That Gurmail Singh@ Gela was not allowing him for any weekly rest or overtime wages. When he could not attend the work due to sickness or any urgent work at his house then Gurmail Singh@ Gela was charging him a fine as per his own wish and by adding this amount in the advance amount he was charging an interest on the whole amount.

 

(h)   That Gurmail Singh@ Gela never paid him his full wages when he demanded his wages from Gurmail Singh@ Gela he pays him only Rs. 1000/- in a month.

 

(i)     That now when he completed is five years of work for Gurmail Singh@ Gela he demanded his wages from Gurmail Singh@ Gela but he does not pay him his wages but imposed a debt of Rs. 10,00000 (Rupees one lakh) as a debt bondage.

 

(j)     That every year Gurmail Singh@ Gela imposed a debt on him and engaged him forcibly to his work in the lieu of bonded debt.

 

(k)   That Gurmail Singh@ Gela is threatening him that if he will not pay the bonded debt and will try to leave the work then he will beat him and will engage him in work.

 

(l)     That now Gurmail Singh@ Gela is not paying his wages but is demanding bonded debt from him.

 The main questions involved in the complaint are as under :-

 (a) The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 by the virtue of its section 4 declared :-

  Abolition of bonded labour system.- (1) On the commencement of this Act, the bonded labour system shall stand abolished and every bonded labourer shall, on such commencement, stand freed and discharged from any obligation to render any bonded labour.

(2) After the commencement of this Act, no person shall-

(a) make any advance under, or in pursuance of, the bonded labour system, or

(b) compel any person to render any bonded labour or other form of forced labour.

                        Hence advancing  a bonded debt is an offence punishable as mentioned in section 17 of Bonded Labour System(Abolition) Act 1976.

Punishment for advancement of bonded debt.- Whoever advances, after the commencement of this Act, any bonded debt shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term , which may extend to three years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.

(b) Buying and selling of human being has been prohibited and has been declared an offence under section 370 of Indian Penal Code 1860.

370. (1) Whoever, for the purpose of exploitation, (a) recruits, (b) transports, (c) harbours, (d) transfers, or (e) receives, a person or persons, by–– 

First.–– using threats, or

Secondly.–– using force, or any other form of coercion, or

Thirdly.–– by abduction, or

Fourthly.–– by practising fraud, or deception, or

Fifthly.–– by abuse of power, or

Sixthly.–– by inducement, including the giving or

receiving of payments or benefits, in order to achieve the consent of any person having control over the person recruited, transported, harboured, transferred or received, commits the offence of trafficking.

Explanation 1.–– The expression “exploitation” shall include, prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the

forced removal of organs.

Explanation 2.–– The consent of the victim is immaterial in a determination of the offence of trafficking.

(2) Whoever commits the offence of trafficking shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years, but which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

(3) Where the offence involves the trafficking of more than one person, it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

(4) Where the offence involves the trafficking of a minor, it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

(5) Where the offence involves the trafficking of more than one minor at the same time, it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

(6) When a public servant including police officer is involved in the trafficking of a minor then such public servant shall be punished with imprisonment for life, which shall mean the remainder of that person’s natural life.

(7) If a person is convicted of the offence of trafficking of minors, on more than one occasion, then such person shall be punished with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life.

 370A. (1) Whoever, despite knowing, or having reason to believe that a child has been trafficked, employs such child in any form of labour, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years, and with fine.

(2) Whoever, despite knowing or having reason to believe that an adult has been trafficked, employs such adult for labour, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.’.

(d) Agriculture work is a Scheduled employment under the Minimum wages Act1948 the State of Punjab has fixed the minimum wages, payment of overtime wages and weekly rest under the law not paying any one of the three is the violation of law.

(e) Employment as a domestic servant is a Scheduled employment, denying to pay minimum wages under the law is amount to violation.

(f) Under the minimum wages Act 8 hours  are concluded as a day, extracting more labour than the prescribe banner amounts  to force labour and also threat to the life and physically torture.

(g) If due to advancing a bonded debt is an offence under Section 2 (g) of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976

 

Section: 2 (g):- \"bonded labour system\" means the system of forced, or partly forced, labour under which a debtor enters, or has, or is presumed to have, entered, into an agreement with the creditor to the effect that,--

(i) in consideration of an advance obtained by him or by any of his lineal ascendants or descendants (whether or not such advance is evidenced by any document) and in consideration of the interest, if any, on such advance, or

(ii) in pursuance of any customary or social obligation, or

 (iii) in pursuance of an obligation devolving on him by succession, or

(iv) for any economic consideration received by him or by any of his lineal ascendants or descendants, or

(v) by reason of his birth in any particular caste or community, he would--

(1) render, by himself or through any member of his family, or any person dependent on him, labour or service to the creditor, or for the benefit of the creditor, for a specified period or for an unspecified period, either without wages or for nominal wages, or

(2) forfeit the freedom of employment or other means of livelihood for a specified period or for an unspecified period, or

(3) forfeit the right to move freely throughout the territory of India, or

(4) forfeit the right to appropriate or sell at market value any of his property or product of his labour or the labour of a member of his family or any person dependent on him, and includes the system of forced, or partly forced, labour under 3 which a surety for a debtor enters, or has, or is presumed to have, entered, into an agreement with the creditor to the effect that in the event of the failure of the debtor to repay the debt, he would render the bonded labour on behalf of the debtor;

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