Paying 450 rupee per month is ‘forced labour’ & violation of article 23: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad high court has recently reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh Government for reimbursing only 450 rupees monthly to a Class-IV post since its onset in 2001, which is much lesser than the prescribed minimum wages decided by the state. 

The Bench led by Justice Pankaj Bhatia highlighted in the judgment that it’s beyond believable that state government of Uttar Pradesh can exploit a Class IV post workers so much by not paying them deserving and requisite salary from the last 20 years. 

Pertaining to this, the Court highlighted thus:

In view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court as recorded above, the prescription of Rs. 450/- per month as wages vide Government Order dated 01.07.1992 is clearly a “other form of forced labour” and is in violation of Article 23 of the Constitution of India.”

The Court has been presiding a writ petition where an employee complained that he was being paid 450 rupees only since the commencement of his job from 2001. It was contended by petitioner side that wages for employees had been increased to 500 rupees per month in 1992.

The court ruled that forms of forced labour comes under article 23 of Indian constitution and it’s also important as observed in the case of People’s Union For Democratic Rights and Others v. Union of India and Others; (1982) 3 SCC 235. The court further remarked that providing remuneration less than the prescribed or minimum salary comes under forced labour mentioned in article 23 and violation of such fundamental right will be remedied. Therefore, the court ordered state government to pay the minimum amount, the remaining one, to the petitioner since 2001.

Image Credits: Jagran Josh

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