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Placement Agencies Regulation Case -Kalpana Pandit vs State of NCT of Delhi : WP (Crl.) No. 619 of 2002


Kalpana Pandit vs State of NCT of Delhi  in WP (Crl.) No. 619 of 2002 The court has gone into the role of illegal placement agencies operating in Delhi and who are also involved in Trafficking. The court in its detailed order has stated the schemes for children must not be vitiated by humoresque choices but based on the ethos and spirit of republic and constitutionalism. It is submitted that the ichonography of child rights will require not only active cooperation but a recognition of reality that children are undoubtedly the harbingers of future. The safely to a society lies in the manner of discovering the ignipotent character of youth and children and particularly their capacity to be genuine, authentic, individuals of self-worth and self-esteem. A society which ignores children or is unconcerned about child rights will always bear the ignominy of being a partial and selective society carrying the impost of elitism. In India where rural poor exist and children work in dhabas, it is necessary that a mere imprecation towards charity is inadequate, a trusted infrustrable right and ethos must emanate from constitutional provisions. It is submitted that constitutional provisions are not only intended to be invocative, they must be evocative in action. It is respectfully submitted that rescue operations for children must not be mere ligatures but must actually be meaningful reintegrative steps into mainstream of society. This requires conscious participation of the Government, the civil society and those who are going to envision the reforms for educating the poor and the weaker sections of society. It is submitted that any intervention would prevent malversation in the implementation of schemes launched bonafidee. Ultimately, it is in the delivery of the schemes and the manner in which delivery takes place fully that governance measures its success. It is further submitted that a continuing monitoring of these directions is essential so that the initiative taken by the Central Government must not be reduced into marcescent hopes. Under these circumstances, it is submitted that suitable directions may be issued by this Court in the larger interest of justice.

In addition, based on the suggestions given by the learned counsel for the petitioners in all these writ petition, The Court has given the following directions summarized as under:

(i) There is no comprehensive legislation to take care of the problem and multiple statutes with multiple authorities – for lack of coordination and disconnect among them – are not able to tackle the issue effectively. Therefore, there is a need to study this aspect, viz., feasibility of having a legislation to regulate employment of problem of children and adult women, who are working as domestic helps. Emphasis should be laid on the regulation of placement of agencies who provide such helps. We are making these observations also for the reason that the existing laws do not provide and effective speedy remedial which could ensure that women and children are able to;

(a) Seek recovery and wages,
(b) Ensure freedom of movement,
(c) Access shelter option in case of abuse before being able to go home.

Feasibility of having control of SDMs of the areas on these placement agencies should also be worked out.

(ii) Till that is achieved, which is allowing term measure, immediate concerned respondent authority to ensure as to how various enforcement agencies of different statutes are able to work in a coordinated and cooperative manner. Necessary guidelines should be issued or rules framed in this behalf. If possible, single window enforcement agency be created so that the the NGO on behalf of such victims are able to approach the said agencies instead of knocking the doors of different authorities. (iii) For more effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 and Delhi Commission for Women Act, following directions are issued:

(a) Labour Department will register all placement agencies. The registration process will be within a finite period of time. Failure to register within that prescribed time should invite penal action which can be prescribed by this Court.

(b) The registration process should not only be for agencies located in Delhi but also for all the agencies, who are placing women and children in homes located in Delhi. This suggestion is made in view of the apprehension expressed during discussions with the Labour Department that as soon stringent laws are brought into effect in Delhi, the agencies may shift out to the NCR region.

(c) The registration information should require:

1) Details of the agencies;
2) Number of persons, who are employed through the agencies, their names, ages and their addresses;
3) Details of salaries fixed for each person;
4) Addresses of the employers;
5) Period of employment;
6) Nature of work;
7) Details of the Commissions received from the employers.

 (d) The information should be available for access to the Child Welfare Committee as well as the Delhi Commission for Women. During the discussions, the Labour Department had indicated that the information would be put up on the website. Till such time, the information should not be put up on the website- the records may be made available by the labour Department to the Commission and the Committee.

On the circular issued by Delhi Police DCP, Headquarters, New Delhi. This Circular requires the Delhi Police to:

 a) regulate the functioning of placement agencies;
b) to ensure proper screening of domestic workers being recruited by placement agencies by maintaining the register of all such agencies;
c) Ensure that the agencies enroll applicants on the basis of formal applications containing full details including the photographs and contact addresses of the applicants, the details of previous employers, etc.
d) Verification of domestic workers is to be done by the Police.

The court in its order has ruled that – “DCP has filed the response wherein it is stated that the matter was examined in detail and the guidelines stated in the Circular cannot be implemented as Delhi Police is already too overburdened with the law and order, security, inquiries and investigations, etc. It is also mentioned that to keep a check on the maintenance of registers, etc. of the placement agencies would not be feasible in the current scenario of heightened security concern. It is stated that the Circular is merely an executive instruction and non-compliance thereof cannot entail any penal consequence on the placement agencies. We are of the opinion that once such a circular is issued, it does not behove Delhi Police now to wriggle out of that on the pretext that this was for internal instructions and thereby refusing to adhere to the same. We, therefore, direct that the administration at the highest level in Delhi Police shall reconsider the feasibility of implementation of the instructions contained in the said”.

PLACEMENT AGENCIES CASE Kalpana Pandit vs State of NCT of Delhi in WP (Crl.) No. 619 of 2002


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