Author: Mithannsh Jain, Christ University.


The origin of bonded labour can be traced back to earlier period when the Hindu society was divided into caste structures. The lower caste suffered the most whereas the trusted higher castes were benefitted in every manner. In keeping view with the global Slavery Index, India has been a poor performer as way as less in social control of anti-slavery laws. The explanation for identical are attributed to the underneath resourced judiciary and personnel. However, with the passing times, bonded labour has inflated its’ scope and also the manner it affect the lives of the folks. Typically, the folks from the rural areas particularly the Dalits are lured by the traffickers solely to search out themselves indulged as labourers in factories or operating in brothels against their consent.


Many generation work underneath bondage for the reimbursement of a paltry  that has been taken by some remote root. The interest rates are extortionate and such bondage can’t be completed as a result of any legitimate contract or agreement. The system implies the infringement of the fundamental human rights and destruction of the dignity of human labour.” aside from varied constitutional provisions, there’s a selected legislation to ban bonded labour i.e. The Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred as act). The Bonded Labour System as outlined underneath the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976: “Bonded labour means that any labour or service rendered underneath the bonded labour system[1]

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has from time to time taken varied constitutional provisions to safeguard the weaker strata of society against the menace of bonded labour. The following are the landmark cases addressing the same –


The petitioner commissioned three social scientists to enquire into the conditions underneath that the employee worked in Asiad projects based on the investigations conducted by the social scientists, petitioner sent a letter self-addressed to Justice P.N Bhagwati. In pursuance to a similar, the Hon’ble Supreme Court took notice of the letter on the judicial aspect and issued notice to Union of India and State of urban centre.

The Court stated that, “The Union of India, Delhi Administration and therefore the Delhi Development Authority cannot escape their obligation to the workmen to make sure observance of the provisions of assorted labour law by its contractors and for non-compliance with the laws by the contractors, the workmen would clearly have a reason for actions against them as principal employers.”

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India handled the expression “other similar style of forced bonded labour” envisaged in Article 23of The Constitution of India, 1950. The court gave the expression a good interpretation to fulfil the objectives of Article 23. [2]The court control that someone who has been forced to figure as a bonded labour and one who is functioning as a labour at a rate lesser than the minimum wage shall be dealt equally.


It was alleged by the petitioner that in spite of the actual fact that a protracted time has pass on, quite a range of labourers reclaimed from Faridabad quarries haven’t been restored. it had been contended by the petitioner that the authorities were obligated to overlook the rehabilitation of reclaimed labourers and rehabilitation of labourers is critical thus on guarantee Right to Life certain to them underneath The Constitution of India, 1950.

The Hon’ble court control that as per the necessities of Article 21 and 23, the bonded labourers ought to be known, reclaimed and conjointly restored.[3] The court highlighted the importance of rehabilitation observant that in absence of any concrete measures for rehabilitation of reclaimed labourers, they might be driven into the state of financial condition and substandard conditions once more and it’d lead them to the bonded labour system once more.

The bonded Labour System (Abolition), 1976 provided varied safeguards against bonded labour. a number of them are enumerated below:

I.          Underneath Section 4 of the act, the first relief that was awarded to the warranted labourers with the commencement of the act was that the warranted labour stood discharged from any form of obligation to supply bonded labour.

II.        Underneath Section 5 of the act, any custom/agreement whereby warranted labour existed was rendered void and inoperative.

III.       Prohibition was casted on establishment of any suit before any civil court vis-à-vis recovery of bonded debt.

IV.       “Every decree or order for the recovery of bonded debt, passed before the commencement of this Act and not absolutely glad before such commencement, shall be deemed, on such commencement, to possess been absolutely satisfied.”

V.        Underneath Section 7 of the act, any property that is underneath mortgage vis-à-vis bonded debt shall stand freed on commencement of the act.

VI.       Somebody detained in civil jail in pursuance of the bonded debt shall be freed as per the provisions of the act.

VII.     Underneath Section 8 of the act, a bonded labour who has been freed shall not be evicted from homestead.[4]

Strict measures have to be compelled to be taken up to confirm that the district committees established below Section 13 of the Act, don’t lie dormant and special care must be taken so on make sure that the members who are a part of these committees are wakeful towards the growing menace of guaranteed Labour. Enough stress should run on the functioning of presidency agencies together with the nongovernmental organizations therefore on make sure that they act collectively. the explanation for the same is that the govt has the authority, resources and experience to enforce the law. Whereas, non-governmental organizations have the grass root connections to report any violation of law to the govt agencies. it’s additionally the requirement of the hour to formulate and implement a time sure action set up therefore on enforce the present legislation of the guaranteed Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 and different constitutional provisions







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