Child labour: Employers must pay fine irrespective of verdict

With several cases of child labour coming to fore in the Capital in recent times,the Delhi High Court has made at least one thing clear — that the recovery of fine,which shall be used in the welfare of the rescued child — does not have to wait for final conviction of an offending employer.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: April 6, 2012 4:26:41 am

With several cases of child labour coming to fore in the Capital in recent times,the Delhi High Court has made at least one thing clear — that the recovery of fine,which shall be used in the welfare of the rescued child — does not have to wait for final conviction of an offending employer.

The court said every employer,in whose premises a child below 14 years of age was employed in contravention of the law,must shell out Rs 20,000 per child and he cannot argue that he must first be convicted of the offence.

Justice Mukta Gupta said the “recovery of amount of Rs 20,000 per child does not have to await the conviction order of the offending employer and that this money shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue by the concerned Labour Commissioner or Assistant Collector under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.”

Dismissing two separate petitions by Abdul Qadir and Atta Ullah,the court cited Supreme Court’s landmark judgement in M C Mehta case,reading as: “The Inspectors appointed under the Act would see that for each child employed in violation of the provisions of the Act,the concerned employer pays Rs 20,000,which sum could be deposited in a fund to be known as Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Fund. The liability of the employer would not cease even if he would desire to disengage the child presently employed.”

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