Bandhua Mukti Morcha has filed a PIL to Implement a Rehabilitation Scheme for the Bonded Labourers
Swami Agnivesh & Anr. Vs. State of Jammu & Kashmir & Ors. Bandhua Mukti Morcha has filed a writ petition seeking for the drafting and implementation of a new Release and Rehabilitation scheme for the bonded labours. In the case of Swami Agnivesh & Anr. Vs. State of Jammu & Kashmir & Ors. Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 128 of 2012, the petitioner's organization has demanded a wide range of prayer which includes payment of compensation to the released bonded labour, immediate release of Release Certificate, Rehabilitation programs, drafting of a new Release and Rehabilitation Scheme for the bonded labours. The present writ petition has its background dating way back to 25.05.2012 when the husband of the Petitioner No. 2 escaped bondage and ran out of the labour home. He reached Delhi and approached the petitioner's organization seeking help for the rescue of his wife and child who are still in bondage and are being tortured by their employer. The petitioner no. 2, Raj Kumari Sahoo got married to Niranjan Sahoo, a bonded labour in the year 2010. After marriage she too went into bonded labour. Out of the wedlock, they even had a child. On 16.06.2012 the petitioner no. 2 and her husband decided to quit the bondage and went to seek permission of their principal employer to which their employer told them that they had taken a loan of Rs. 3 Lakhs to which they refused to accept. This resulted in the petitioner no. 2 and her husband being thrashed several times. They were both locked up in two separate rooms and were beaten up regularly. However on 25th May 2012 the husband managed to escape. And reached the office of the petitioner no. 1's office at Delhi on 9th AUG 2012. In between both were beaten up regularly and raped several times as a revenge for the escape of her husband. This resulted in the miscarriage of her second child. With the help of the petitioner's organization, Niranjan Sahoo tried to release his wife but at first he did not meet with success. But then with the help of the Child Line, Jammu, the petitioner organization was finally able to rescue Raj Kumari Sahoo and her child from bondage. But the government hasn't given them In between this, the petitioner no. 2 was neither the compensation amount as mandate under the Bonded Labour Act nor any steps been for their rehabilitation. The petition sought the permission of the Hon'ble Court to file an amended petition whereby the state of Chhattisgarh and the Union of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment have been made party to the petition. Also the petitioner seeks for the following prayers: Issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction to the Respondents 1 and 2 to investigate in respect of the allegations of rape, kidnapping, assault and bondage etc. as set out in this petition and initiate prosecution in accordance with law and the Standard Operating Procedures on Investigation of Crimes of Trafficking for Forced Labour. Pass an order directing the Respondents no. 1 and 2 and 4 to provide security and financial support to the Petitioner No. 2 so that she is not harmed in any manner and to ensure that she is not harmed when she visits Jammu to assist with the investigation or trial. Now, In this case, the state of Chhattisgarh seeked time to file their counter affidavit and thereby 3 weeks times have been granted thereby.