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|Case posted by||Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan|
|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 date||Not recorded|
|Case incident date||18-Sep-2015|
|Place||Village: Not recorded
District: TARN TARAN
|Police station||Not recorded|
Sukhdev Singh @ Sukha S/o Surta Singh, R/o Village- Khadur Sahib, Tehsil-Khadur Sahib & District-Tarn Taran has approached to the office of the above organization and has narrated the below facts:-
(a) That he belongs to caste “Majhabi Sikh” which has been declared as a Scheduled Caste by the State Government of Punjab.
(b) That from the last two years he was employed by the employer Harjit Singh @Jeeta S/o Joginder Singh R/o Village-Patti Falliyan Di, Tehsil- Khadur Sahib, District- Tarn Taran who belongs to “Jatt Sikh” community which is a non scheduled caste to work as “Seri”(Agriculture labourer). The father of the worker named Surta Singh was also working as Seri with the father of the present employer Harjit Singh for forty years. After the death of Surta Singh, the employer has incurred the bonded debt against him and to repay that bonded debt the employer has employed the brother of the worker named Baldev Singh to work as “Seri”. Baldev Singh has worked with the present employer for ten years to repay the bonded debt of his deceased father and after ten years work, the employer Harjit Singh has incurred the bonded debt of Rs. 10,000(Ten Thousand) against him. After that the employer has employed the younger brother of the worker named Gurdev Singh to repay his elder brother’s debt. Gurdev Singh has worked with the employer Harjit Singh for thirteen years to repay the debt amount of his brother Baldev Singh and the employer has incurred the debt of Rs.20,000(Twenty Thousand) against him and to realize that debt amount the employer Harjit Singh has employed the worker Sukhdev Singh as bonded labourer.
(c) That before working with the present employer Harjit Singh, the worker Sukhdev Singh was employed by the employer Ajmer Singh R/o village-Baniya to work as Seri. At the time of the employment the employer Harjit Singh has paid the worker’s debt amount of Rs. 60,000(Sixty Thousand) to his former employer Ajmer Singh which he has incurred against him and purchased him from his former employer. The worker Sukhdev Singh was working with the former employer Ajmer Singh as Seri for the time period of two years and he incurred the bonded debt of Rs. 60,000(Sixty Thouand) against him and after repay that amount to the employer Ajmer Singh, the present employer Harjit Singh has employed the worker as agriculture labourer.
(d) That the employer Harjit Singh has fixed his annual wages Rs. 45,000 (Forty Five Thousand) per year.
(e) That Sukhdev was working in the fields of employer from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. During the wheat and paddy transplantation season the employer takes work from him for continuous period of three months. Harjit Singh was not allowing even him to go to his home.
(f) That the worker was also taking care of the 12 animals of the employer along with working in the fields of the employer.
(g) That the employer during the winter season has given meals to the worker two times in a day and three times during the summer season.
(h) That the employer Harjit Singh was not paying the wages of the worker and when he makes him many requests he pays him only Rs.300/- in a month. Sukhdev’s borthers were working outside and managing the expenses of their house.
(i) That the employer has taken his thumb impression on some blank papers and promissory note. The worker is an illiterate person and did not know anything about these papers.
(j) That the employer was not allowing any weekly rest and wages for his overtime work. When the worker takes any leave due to sickness or some urgent work then the employer penalize him and deduct Rs. 300(Three Hundred) from his wages and add that amount to his bonded debt.
(k) That the employer was not paying wages to the worker and now demanding the debt amount of Rs.1,00,000 (One Lac) from him.
(l) That now the brick kiln owner is harassing worker and has abused and threatened him saying, if he does not pay his debt amount then the brick kiln owner will forcibly take work from him and will take over his land.
(m) That before one year and six months the employer forcibly took the worker to the Court Complex situated at Khadur Sahib and takes his thumb impression on some blank papers and threatened him by saying that if he does not put his thumb impression then he will kill him.
(n) That after taking thumb impression of the worker, the employer Harjit Singh has forcibly taken the possession of the land belonging to the worker.
(o) That now the worker is residing some other place and the employer is continuously gave threats to him regarding repayment of his debt.
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.
(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.’.
(c) 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.
(d) Employment as a domestic servant is a Scheduled employment, denying to pay minimum wages under the law is amount to violation.
(e) 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.
(f) 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;