Delhi high court seeks report on placement agencies

NEW DELHI: Unhappy with the lack of progress in regulating placement agencies in the capital, the Delhi high court on Tuesday directed the state government and the police to file a status report within 10 days on the steps taken till now in this regard.

"What are you doing? What have you done till now," a bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Manmohan demanded from the authorities. It also issued a notice to the Centre, Delhi government and Delhi Police on an application filed by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, seeking compulsory registration of all placement agencies by November 6.

HC was hearing a PIL filed by the NGO where it sought abolition of child labour and strict regulation of placement agencies so that child trafficking can be stopped. In its latest application, the NGO has urged HC to ensure compliance of its earlier directions on the issue.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate H S Phoolka cited the recent case in Vasant Kunj area, first highlighted by TOI, where a girl was allegedly tortured by her employer. "Domestic workers are incessantly tortured and these girls are mostly being placed there by agencies which are completely unregulated."

The NGO also referred to the high court's earlier directions saying "the court had directed compulsory registration for all placement agencies in Delhi within a finite time. This was not done and the illegal trade of trafficking kept increasing exponentially."

As per the plea, the Delhi government had put forth Delhi Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill after the petitioner's August 4, 2011 application. The application argued that even though the court had held in March last year that the bill should be enacted within 2-3 months, nothing has been done till date.

"In two sessions and nearly 25 sittings, the bill has not even been tabled. The government is completely non-serious about the bill…" the petitioner NGO said.

The court has already summoned the Delhi chief secretary to appear before it and explain what steps are being taken to abolish child labour from the city.