‘Survey trial court premises for child labours’

New Delhi: The city government was on Wednesday asked by the Delhi High Court to inspect various trial court premises without informing the concerned bar associations to ascertain the number of children below 14 years of age working as helps in tea stalls, eateries and in other menial jobs there.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw gave the direction to the city government's Labour Commissioner and the Joint Labour Commissioner who appeared before it in response to a court summon.

The bench asked the two officials to inspect the premises at regular intervals without intimating the bars and rejected a labour department report that no child was found working as labourer in any of the trial court premises.

The bench said if the bar associations were informed about their proposed inspection of court premises, the children will be asked by the lawyers to leave the place during the survey.

The court, however, directed the concerned district judge to co-operate with the officials during their inspection to find the truth.

The court had earlier assigned the job of survey to the government while taking suo motu cognisance of a media report that children below the age of 14 could be found working as tea vendors, aides to notaries public and food vendors in and around Tis Hazari, Patiala House, Rohini, Dwarka, Karkardooma and the Saket court complex premises.

The report said young children have been employed in violation of the High Court's previous order imposing a complete ban on child labour in the national capital.