Benagluru: A big step towards curbing child labour has brought a big smile on the faces of child rights activists. A Supreme Court order favours the plea of “Campaign Against Child Labour – Karnataka” against the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd.
In January, the Supreme Court confirmed an earlier Karnataka HC order that an undertaking should be taken from industrial/commercial consumers that they will not engage child labour. Also, responsible activism has been entrusted to electricity inspectors, who have been ordered to disconnect power supply of any factory that they visit that employs children. The order clearly states, “Disconnect power supply to those who employ children in violation of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and Section 24 of the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1961/Factories Act, 1948."
"An SC judgment becomes the law of the land and the KPTCL has the obligation to enforce this verdict. CACL should give wide publicity to this judgement and put pressure on the Ministry of Energy to implement the order. This case was filed in the HC in 1999 and KPTCL went on to appeal in the SSC in 2006. The case was pending for almost 11 years," said Mathews Philip, Executive Director, SICHREM – South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring.
The order could not be implemented in the state as KPTCL went on appeal to the Supreme Court and saw to it that it was pending for a long time.
“The pending appeal is an excuse for non-implementation. The final order came in January 2018, nobody has heard of action by the government to enforce it," Mr Phillip said....