RIGHT AGAINST EXPLOITATION
Article 23 and article 24 deals with right against exploitation. Exploitation means misuse of service of others with the help of force. Before independence exploitation was prevalent in many part of countries. So, article 23 & article 24 has abolished such practice as it is opposed to our constitution as well as the dignity of the individual which guarantees in its preamble.
ARTICLE 23(1): Prohibits traffic in human being and beggar and other similar forms of forced labor. Any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
Article 23 protects individual not only against the state but also private citizens.
So, article 23 prohibits following practices:
- Traffic in human beings
- Forced labor
Beggar means compulsory work without remuneration.
Traffic in human beings meaning selling and buying men and women likes goods which includes immoral traffic in ‘women and children for immoral’ or for other purpose.
Forced labor means compelling a person to work against his will. Force includes not only physical or legal force but also from arising from compulsion of economic circumstances (working for less than minimum wage).
DEENA V. UNION OF INDIA AIR (1983 SC 1155)
It was held that labor taken from prisoners without paying them wages according to their work was forced labor and violative of article 23 of constitution. They are entitled to payment of reasonable wages for work taken from them and the court is under duty to enforce their claims.
Under article 23(2), the state has been allowed to allowed compulsory service for public purpose, national defence, removal of illiteracy or smooth running of public utility.
The state has debarred from making discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, class or any other of them.
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN (ARTICLE 24)
Article 24 states: “ no child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment’’.
This article read with article 39(e), and 39(f), states for the protection of the health and strength of children below the age of 14 years.
Article 24 of the constitution prohibits employment of children below 14 years of age in factories and hazardous employment. The employment is non- hazardous work is allowed. CHILDREN ARE THE ASSETS TO THE NATION. Article 39 imposes upon the state an obligation to ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and with the tender age of children are not abused.
MC MEHTA V. STATE OF TAMIL NADU AIR (1997)
It was held by supreme court that children below the age of 14 years cannot be employed in any hazardous industry, mines, or other work and has laid down exhaustive guidelines how state authorize should protect economic, social, humanitarian rights of millions of children.
The court made it clear that the liability of the employer would not cease even if he would desire to disengage the child presently employed and asked the government to ensure that an adult members of the child’s family get job in a factory or anywhere in the lieu of child.
In pursuance with the article 24 parliament enacted certain laws:
- Child labor act 1986
- The employment of children act 1938
- The Indian factories act,1948
- The mines act 1952
- The merchant shipping act 1958 and other similar acts.
Author: kanika panwar,
IDEAL institute of management and technology & school of law, 2nd year/BALLB