Thursday, 11 September 2014

HC raps Delhi government on placement agencies

NEW DELHI: Upset over Delhi government's failure to abide by its orders and regulate placement agencies, the Delhi high court on Wednesday summoned the labour secretary to explain why no action has been taken till date.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw put its unhappiness on record with the government's arguments that it is waiting for the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill to be passed.


"The secretary of Delhi government's labour department, government of Delhi, shall appear before this court on September 30 and explain why the order of this court has not been followed," HC ordered while rejecting the plea of Delhi government's counsel that the additional labour commissioner has been dealing with the issue and, instead of the secretary, he can be asked to appear and explain.


HC pointed out that on December 18, 2013, the government was given six weeks to issue the executive directions which were to remain in force till the Bill was passed.


"Have you issued any executive directions as directed by this court?


You were asked to issue directions within six weeks but no such directions were passed.


Let the secretary concerned be present in court to explain why," the court directed.


The lack of progress in the matter was highlighted by advocate Prabhsahay Kaur, appearing for NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan. She informed the court that it issued elaborate directions in 2010 to curb the menace of child trafficking through placement agencies, which have not been followed by Delhi government till date.


She alleged that since no action is taken against the placement agencies, more and more girls are brought in by them to be pushed into trafficking. The lawyer alleged while the trafficked girls are being rescued from the capital and other states like Jharkhand or West Bengal, from where they were brought, Delhi Police remains silent.


On December 18 last year, HC had directed the city government to comply with its December 2010 order to register all placement agencies and maintain salary records of the girls employed through them till the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill is passed.


The court had passed the order after Delhi government sought more time for the approval of the bill as a new government was yet to be formed. Earlier, Delhi government had told the court that 1,754 placement agencies have been registered under the Delhi Shops and Establishments Act.


HC is hearing a PIL, filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, seeking compulsory registration of placement agencies within one month and compliance of the court's earlier directions on the issue.



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