Quarry owner gets 7-year jail term for bonded labour

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The owner of a quarry from Malakacheruvapalli in Chickballapur district was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for confining 42 people in his quarry as bonded labour.

International Justice Mission (IJM) which brought the case to light, in a release, has said the owner was sentenced by the Civil Judge and JMFC, Bagepalli, under Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Section 344 of the Indian Penal Code Section (wrongful confinement) and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act.

The charges against the owner included confinement, payment below minimum wages, children not being allowed to go to school and a pregnant woman in labour not being allowed to go to a hospital.

This case first came to light on 31 August, 2010, when the Bagepalli tahsildar T.A. Hanumantha Raya under the direction of the Deputy Commissioner, N. Manjula, led the rescue of 42 people. On 1 September, 2010, Assistant Labour Commissioner Vasant Kumar, initiated an inquiry and issued official release certificates to 27 bonded labourers. The Hindu had reported this case on September 3, 2010 (“Bonded labourers, children rescued from stone quarry”).

The labourers, from Nagari village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, had been working for five years in the quarry.

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