The state human rights commission of Jammu and Kashmir today directed the public works department to clear within two weeks the arrears of 22 employees, who had not been paid their wages, terming it a case of “bonded labour”.
Disposing of a complaint filed by the workers in the stores procurement department alleging they had not been paid any wages for the past eight to nine months, chairman of SHRC, Justice Bilal Nazki (retd), took serious note of the issue and directed the PWD commissioner-secretary to make the payments and submit a compliance report by November 29.
“In case of failure, the commission will be constrained to take steps in terms of provisions of J&K Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997,” Justice Nazki said.
Commenting on the admission of the stores procurement department about non-payment of wages, the chairman observed that it appears to be a case of “bonded labour”, where people are made to perform jobs without payment of wages.
“These persons are getting meagre wages of Rs 4,000 per month and that amount is also not paid for the last eight to nine months,” Justice Nakri said in his judgement.