NHRC sends notice to Maharashtra
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to the State government requesting a detailed report in the matter from the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police within four weeks after the Maharashtra police allegedly freed 11 labourers who were allegedly kept chained by a contractor in the Osmanabad district.
Bonded Labour System abolition Act 1976
- An Act to provide for the abolishment of the bonded labour system in order to stop the economic and physical exploitation of the weaker groups of the population, as well as for things related to or incidental thereto.
- Abolition of Bonded Labour: With the Act’s declaration that the system of bonded labour was no longer in use, all bonded labourers were released from their bonds and were no longer required to do bonded labour.
- Customs and Agreements Are Nullified: The Act nullified any custom, agreement, or other document that enforced the need for bonded labour.
- Extinguishment of Bonded Debt: Bonded labourers were released from the weight of their debts by the Act’s extinguishment of the need to repay bonded debt.
- Freedom of Property: Bonded labourers’ property was free of any liens or encumbrances stemming from their bonded labour.
- Protection from Eviction: As part of the payment for their bonded labour, freed bonded labourers were not forced to leave the homes they owned or other residential properties they had occupied.
- District Magistrates’ responsibilities: District Magistrates were given specified tasks to complete in order to carry out the Act’s provisions.
- Establishment of Vigilance Committees: To monitor and guarantee the efficient implementation of the Act, vigilance committees were necessary to be established at the district and sub-divisional levels.
- Offences & Penalties: Violation of the Act’s terms was a crime subject to legal sanctions. The Act stipulated that such offences could result in up to three years in prison and fines of up to 2,000 rupees.
- Powers of Judicial Magistrates:The Act mandated that Executive Magistrates be given the authority of Judicial Magistrates in order to try crimes covered by the Act. For certain offences, summary trial procedures could be used.
- Cognizability and Bail: Every offence covered by the Act was classified as either cognizable (meaning it could be investigated without a warrant) or bailable (meaning the accused may be freed on bail).
What is NHRC?
- According to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which was later revised in 2006, the NHRC of India is an independent statutory organisation that was founded on October 12th, 1993.
- On October 12, 2018, NHRC celebrated its Silver Jubilee (25 years). Its corporate headquarters are in New Delhi.
- It serves as the country’s watchdog for human rights, which are those that are guaranteed by the Indian Constitution or enshrined in international accords and are upheld by Indian courts. These rights relate to life, liberty, equality, and the dignity of the individual.
- It was created in accordance with the Paris Principles, which were accepted in Paris (October 1991) for the promotion and protection of human rights, and approved by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 1993.