Bandu Mukti morcha Vs Union of India AIR 1984 SC 802, Justice P.N. Bhagwati.

            Supreme Court entertained this Public Interest Litigation concerning release of bonded labour. Bandh Mukti Morcha,  an Organisation dedicated to the cause of release of bonded labour filed This petition under Article 32. Under the bonded labour system a person is bonded to provide labour to another for years until an alleged debt is paid off. Which never seems to happen during the lifetime of bonded labour, subjecting the poor landless labourers to work as 'slaves' without wages, without leisure and even without food are high plots of drama of brutal slavery and bondage forced by Man upon man.
This Laborious practices is prevalent mostly in bricks kiln (furnace) areas, stone quarrying Industries, construction projects, Hotel and weaving establishments etc .
The bonded labour system is prohibited under Article 23, which deals with right against exploitation. Article 23 provides prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour- " traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law."





Fact

       The petitioner the social action group had made a survey of the stone Quarries in Faridabad district in the State of Haryana and found that there are number of labourers who were working in the stone Quarries under inhuman and intolerable conditions and many of them of were bonded labourers. It was found that almost 99% of the workers were of migrant from draught prone areas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh , Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Maharashtra.  Supreme Court converted the letter received from Bandhu Mukti morcha into a writ petition and appointed it's own socio-legal investigating Commission to examine and report the condition of workers in the stone quarries .


Held -


       The court held that article 21 of Indian constitution assure the right to live life with human dignity,  free from exploitation,  and the State was under an  obligation to see that there was no violation of the right to live with human dignity. Court issued several directions on the receipt of the report of the commission to the central and state government to release and a Rehabilitate  the bonded labourers and assure them the payment of human wages. The Court emphasis that any failure on the part of the government in implementing the provision of bonded labour system (Abolition) Act, 1976,  would be the clearest violation of Article 21 and 23.

             


              Supreme Court held that bonded labour is unconstitutional under Article 23 as it can be regarded as a form of forced labour. Justice Bhagwati , in this case said that these unfortunate people are not-beings , living a life worse than that of animal. It is therefore plainest requirement of Articles 21 and 23 of the Constitution that bonded labourers must be identified and released and on release,  they must be suitably rehabilitated .

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