New Delhi: Laxity in strict implementation of anti-child labour laws has led to a situation where people have no fear of employing children as workers, a Delhi court has said.
   
The court made the observation while dealing with cases relating to the rescue of 24 children from Roopnagar area here, where employers were found brazenly employing the kids at abysmal low wages.
   
The children were rescued during the raid by officials of Labour Department, Social Welfare Department, Delhi Police and an NGO last month.
   
Additional Sessions Judge Madhu Jain rejected the anticipatory bail plea of the leather factory owner from whose premises two children were rescued during the raid on September 20.
   
The authorities claimed that though they managed to rescue the children, barring one, remaining owners of the defaulting factories managed to give them the slip. One of
them chose to file an anticipatory bail.
   
"As per the report, 24 children who were working in miserable conditions and at low wages were rescued from various premises. Only one person could be arrested at the spot and rest of the seven accused persons are absconding and applicant is one of them.”
   
"The allegations are quite heinous and despite the strict laws in this regard, the implementation of them is so lax that people now have no fear of the employment of child labour," the Judge said.

The defence counsel claimed that the two children rescued from the applicant's premises had given their statement that they were his nephews and had merely come to spend time with him.
   
The prosecution, however, contended that despite the laws to prevent child labour, its menace is increasing and accused should not be granted bail as it would send a wrong message to society.
   
The court rejected anticipatory bail to the accused taking into account statement of the two children who were rescued from his premises.
   
"So far as the statement of the children is concerned, then from their statement also it is clear that they were recovered from the factory of the applicant. In the facts and circumstances of the case, no ground for anticipatory bail is made out. Application is dismissed," the Judge wrote in his order.


(Agencies)