No bonded labourers exist in country: Supreme Court

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A racket is being operated under the “pretext” of forced labour, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday, claiming that there are not any bonded labourers within the nation.

In response to a petition filed on behalf of a worker who was allegedly repeatedly raped by a disciple of a brick kiln contractor in Jammu’s RS Pura neighbourhood, late social activist Swami Agnivesh made the statement.

“Do you recognize who are bonded labourers? they're not bonded. They take the cash and are available there and are engaged by brick kilns. they are available from backward areas. They take the money and eat the money then resign. this can be a racket within the country. These labourers only make the most of this bonded labourer thing,” the bench observed.

The lawyer appearing for Jammu and Kashmir told the bench that an FIR was registered within the case and an investigation was initiated. However, the victim went untraceable resulting in the closure of the case in 2018.

The top court noted a close response has been filed citing several aspects, and also the Jammu and Kashmir government will take remedial steps, if any are required under the law.

According to the petition filed in 2012, after the lady and her husband expressed their wish to return to their native state in June, the contractor refused to alleviate them unless they paid him Rs 3 lakh.

Though the husband managed to flee from the camp, his wife and child were kept under illegal confinement.

During the illegal confinement, she was repeatedly raped by the contractor et al., it had been alleged.

The victim and her son had subsequently shifted to a rehabilitation home at the intervention of an NGO and police, it absolutely was claimed.