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Delhi HC issues directions for financial assistance for rescued child labourers

The Delhi High Court, through a division bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, has issued a series of directives aimed at ensuring immediate financial assistance, recovery of back wages, and a streamlined legal process for child labourers rescued in the national capital.

New Delhi, Jan 12,2024:  The Delhi High Court, through a division bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, has issued a series of directives aimed at ensuring immediate financial assistance, recovery of back wages, and a streamlined legal process for child labourers rescued in the national capital.

The court mandated the opening of a joint savings bank account for a rescued child placed in a childcare or juvenile home, naming the minor and the respective institution’s Superintendent or In-charge as the temporary guardian.

These directives were issued while addressing two pleas from fathers of children victimised by bonded labour, seeking relief for their children and others who hadn’t received financial assistance under statutory schemes.

Notably, if parents or guardians are located in the future, financial assistance will be electronically transferred within a week after due verification.

Moreover, the court said that once a rescued child reaches the age of majority during their stay at the Child Welfare Committee, they are granted permission to operate the account individually. NGOs and Vigilance committees were directed to collaborate and provide necessary information regarding bank accounts and relevant documents of the rescued children or their parents.

The Delhi Government’s Labour Department was instructed to issue Recovery Notices for back wages within two working days of a child’s rescue.

In case the accused employer fails to deposit back wages within two weeks, recovery certificates will be issued, and the amount recovered as arrears of land revenue by the concerned SDM.

The court further said that recovered back wages for a particular bonded child labourer should be disbursed within a week to the child or their parents/legal guardians.

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