Work without remuneration or less remuneration is violation of human rights: Allahabad High Court

A Division Bench of Allahabad High Court recently in Rekha vs. Union of India ( WA No. – 31696 of 2016) granted a huge relief to the petitioner who is the Assistant Director in Institute of Correspondence Course and Continuing Education (hereinafter referred as ICC&CE), University of Allahabad. The Judgment brings a ray of hope to thousands of employee of ICC&CE who is fighting this battle since 2014, both inside and outside the court.

The petitioner herein was appointed as an Assistant Correspondence Officer in ICC&CE in the year 1984. She was promoted to the post of Assistant Director of the ICC&CE on 01.03.1997 and continued to receive salary on monthly basis ever since her appointment.  The writ petition was preferred by her primarily seeking a direction commanding the University to pay arrears of salary to her from November, 2014 as the Assistant Director and to continue to pay the same on monthly basis.

The Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad allowed the writ petition and directed the University to make immediate arrangement for payment of salary and emoluments to the petitioner for the period November, 2014 till 2017 and to make the entire payment within a period of two months of the receipt of the copy of order.

The High court held that non-payment of wages to the employee is the violation of Article 23 which prohibits “Begar”.  The High in his order said that the word ‘Begar’ is of Indian origin and has been adopted in the English vocabulary. It is understood to be a labour or service which a person is forced to give without receiving any remuneration for it. In other words extracting labour or service from a person by the government or by person in power without giving remuneration for it amounts to ‘Begar’.  ‘Begar’ can take different forms such as forced labour, taking work without remuneration or taking work without paying adequate remuneration or remuneration less than the minimum wages. In view of the above Constitutional mandate no Government or public body or a person can take work from anyone without paying remuneration or less remuneration then admissible or by force as it would be a clear violation not only of the fundamental right of a person but of a much superior human right which inheres in every individual.

Read the judgment below:


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