The Delhi government is not providing financial assistance to people rescued from bondage, a victim of bonded labour today said in a PIL in the Delhi High Court.
Taking note of the seriousness of the issue, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Centre and Delhi government and sought their stand on the plea by a Jharkhand man, who was working as a bonded labour in a shop here from where he was rescued.
The court also made the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) a party in the matter and sought its response too before the next date of hearing on December 11.
The petitioner has claimed that he was rescued in February this year in a raid carried out under the supervision of the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of the south east district of Delhi.
However, till date he has not been given any financial assistance as provided under the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour 2016, despite several letters to the SDM and District Magistrate (DM) of the south east district of Delhi, the petition has claimed.
Under the scheme, an immediate financial assistance of Rs 5,000 was to be provided by the DM. This amount was later enhanced to Rs 20,000, the plea said.
The petitioner, Walter Kerketta, has also alleged that besides him, there were several minors who were rescued from bonded labour, but were yet to received any financial aid from the Delhi government.
He has also claimed that the Delhi government has not ensured that the district authorities have a permanent corpus fund of Rs 10 lakh, as mandated under the scheme, for immediate rehabilitation and assistance of victims of bonded labour.
The petitioner has sought directions to the SDM and DM of south-east district of Delhi to forthwith grant financial assistance under the scheme to him and other victims of bonded labour.
The PIL also seeks directions to the Delhi government to create a permanent bonded labour rehabilitation corpus fund of Rs 10 lakh as per the scheme.
( Source – PTI )