Child Labour Law in India


The Gazette of India Extraordinary

Part II- Section 3- Sub-Section (ii)

Published by Authority

New Delhi, Monday, February 5, 1996/Magha 16, 1917

Ministry of Labour


New Delhi, the 5th February, 1996

S.O.104(5) – In exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, (61 of 1986) read with rule 3 of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Rules, 1988, the Central Government hereby constitutes an advisory committee to be called the Child Labour Technical Advisory Committee consisting of the following members, namely:

1. Director, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi Chairman
2. Additional Director General, Health Services, Government Member of India, New Delhi.
3. Director General, Factory Advice Service, Labour Member Institutes, Bombay
4. Director, National Institute of Occupational Health, Member Ahmedabad
5. Director, Industrial Toxicology Research Center, Member Lucknow
6. Director, Vallabh Bhai Patel Chest Institute, N.Delhi Member
7. Director, Paediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Member Sciences, New Delhi
8. Director, Medical Services, Tamil Nadu Member
9. Director, Medical Services, Uttar Pradesh Member
10. Joint Secretary Incharge of Child Labour Cell Member Ministry of Labour, New Delhi.

(F. No. S-27019/6/93/CD)

R.K. Saini, Jt Secy/Dir
General of Employment & Training

Child Labour Law in India


Position on the Implementation of the Directions of the Supreme Court of India Writ Petition (Civil) No. 465/1986.

Extracts from the Affidavit of the Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, Government of India in the Supreme Court of India on December 4, 1997 on the action taken by the Government to implement the directions given by the Supreme Court on December 10, 1996)

In brief, the position regarding compliance of the directions of the Supreme Court of India as contained in the judgement of December 10, 1996 is as under:

  • The first phase of survey has been completed in all the State Governments and Union Territories except in the State of Nagaland.
  • Most of the State Governments had appointed Inspectors under Section 17 of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986 and wherever it was considered necessary, officers from other Departments were also mobilised, pooled and notified as such so that the directions of the Hon’ble Court could be fully complied with.
  • On the basis of the information received so far, it is seen that in the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Harayana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Predesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal recovery notices have already been issued to the offending employers for collection of compensation amounting @Rs.20,000 per child employed in contravention of the provisions of the Act. The State Governments and Union Territories Administrations of Andaman and Nicobar Island, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Pondicherry and Sikkim have reported that it is not necessary to issue such notices as no child labour has been found to have been employed in hazardous occupations. Recovery notices in the State of Meghalaya are in the process of being served.
  • The State Governments, where employment of child labour in hazardous occupations has been found, have already initiated necessary action for the constitution of the Child Labour Rehabilitation-cum-Welfare Funds at the district level in accordance with the guidelines circulated by the Ministry of Labour. While in some districts, funds have already been constituted, in others the process is underway.
  • According to information received so far, the amount of compensation received from the offending employers has been as under:(i) Andhra Pradesh Rs. 40,000
    (ii) Haryana Rs. 80,000
    (iii) Karnataka Rs. 60,000
    (iv) Madhya Pradesh Rs. 20,000
    (v) Maharashtra Rs.200,000
    (vi) Orissa Rs.100,000
    (vii) Punjab Rs.120,000
    (viii) West Bengal Rs. 80,000
  • State Governments and Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have reported that separate Labour Cells have been constituted in the State Governments for ensuring enforcement of the various provisions of the Act and /or monitoring the activities taken up in compliance with the directions of the Hon’ble Court.
  • Most of the State Governments and Union Territories which have replied to the questionnaire and where employment of children in hazardous occupations has been found, have reported that besides taking action for collection of compensation @ Rs.20,000 per child employed by the offending employer, penal action has also been initiated against the employer. In the State of Orissa such action is under process, while in the State of Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu, no such action is reported to have been initiated.

The information asked for in the questionnaire is still awaited from the State Governments and Union Territories Administrations of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Nagaland and Rajasthan and would be furnished before the Supreme Court in the form of additional affidavit, when received. They have been demi-officially reminded on November 7, 1997 and again on December 3, 1997 to send their responses without delay.

That besides taking action to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court, as contained in the aforesaid judgement, the Central Government has also initiated action to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 to make it more stringent and effective, on the basis of suggestions received from the State Governments. Necessary amendment proposal are being actively considered by the Government of India.

That besides initiating action to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, Government of India has also identified a number of new occupations and processes such as gem cutting & polishing, zari making, leather goods manufacturing, agarbatti manufacturing, lock making, sports goods manufacturing etc to mention a few, for inclusion in the Schedule to the Act so that employment in these additional occupations and process could be prohibited under Section 3 of the Act instead of being regulated.

That during the course of discussions with the representatives of ILO, it was revealed that the ILO could consider funding a second survey. Accordingly, a proposal for seeking financial assistance for conducting the survey has been sent to the International Labour Organization in Geneva. In the event of financial assistance from ILO not being available, funds for conducting the survey would be obtained from overall budgetary allocation, subject to the approval of Ministry of Finance.

That the Hon’ble Court would very kindly appreciate that the task relating to withdrawal of children from hazardous occupations and their rehabilitation, which is difficult and sensitive, cannot be the work of one single Ministry or Department or Agency. Instead it is the task of all concerned Ministries/Departments in the Central and State Governments, Central Employers’ & Trade Union Organizations, NGOs. etc. That this Hon’ble Court would also kindly appreciate that this age-old social evil cannot be eradicated by one single stroke. For grappling with and overcoming the problem of child labour in the country, which is of a formidable dimension, sustained efforts on the part of each one and everyone who is directly or indirectly concerned in the matter would need to be taken. During the last two years, the Central Government has started the National Child Labour Projects in 64 additional child labour endemic districts (taking the total number of projects to 76) and at present 105000 children are enrolled in the special schools which are being run under these projects. This respondent humbly submits that efforts would continue to be made at the Central and State level to give effect to the directions of this Hon’ble Court in letter and spirit with the ultimate objective of eliminating child labour in all its forms even though it may be somewhat difficult to precisely indicate a specific time frame by which child labour in all industries, occupations and processes can be eliminated lock, stock and barrel.

That, on the basis of the information contained in this affidavit, it is most humbly and respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to pass such orders and/or further directions as may be deemed fit and appropriate in the facts and circumstances of the case

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