Delhi court penalises couple Rs 1.5 for child labour and asks them to plant 150 trees

court fines couple

The Hush Post| 12.00 am |two-minute-read|

The Delhi High Court has agreed to quash a complaint against a couple, who had employed a minor for household work. The court has directed them to plant 100 trees and pay Rs.1.5 lakh to the victim.

Justice Najmi Waziri also directed two other agents who procured the minor girl for employment at the couple’s house, to offer manual labour for plantation and care of the trees.

The court imposed a fine of Rs. 1.5 lakh on the couple and Rs. 10,000 each on the two agents and directed that the amount be paid to the minor.

A complaint was lodged at the Rajouri Garden police station. The complaint was for the offences of voluntarily causing hurt, unlawful compulsory labour under the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

The minor was allegedly kept in confinement illegally for about three months for household labour and she was brought to Delhi by these two agents, apparently with the consent of the girl’s father.

She was employed by the couple for household work. She was allegedly assaulted whenever she made a mistake and was never paid any money for the period of her work.

The matter was also reported to the Child Welfare Committee. which had directed the employers to pay wages and compensation to the victim

“In the circumstances, the FIR and all proceedings emanating from there are quashed subject to costs of Rs. 1.5 lakh to be paid by petitioners No. 1 and 2 (couple) to respondent No.2 (victim)…,” the court said.

The court noted that as an expression of contrition for causing unnecessary burden upon the administrative machinery engaged in the maintenance of law and order, the couple submitted they wanted to do some social work.

It directed them to plant 50 trees each in Delhi and were asked to report to the deputy conservator of forests (south) who shall assign them duties of planting the trees in the Central Ridge for 10 working days in compensatory afforestation or other schemes.

The court said the trees shall be of deciduous indigenous variety with a nursery age of three-and-a-half years and a height of at least six feet.

Depending upon the soil type and topography, the court said the forest officer may consider plantation of Gular (Cluster Fig), Kadamba (Burflower Tree), Pilkhan (White Fig), Jaamun (Black Plum), Bargad (Banyan Tree), Mango, Amaltas (Golden Shower), Mahua (Butter Tree), Putranjiva, Badh, Sagwan (Teak Wood), Safed Siris (Albizia Procera), Kala Siris, Anjeer, Kathal (Jackfruit), Palash, Arni, Bistendu, Rohida and Medshingi.

Regarding the two agents, the court said as an expression of their contrition and remorse for having put the child through pain, they undertake to offer manual labour for the plantation and care of the trees.

The deputy conservator of forest (south) would file an affidavit of compliance along with pictures of plantation on or before March 25 before the court.

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