Dr J C Vashista (Lawyer) 15 January 2022
The law is amply clear, which speaks inter alia, that,
"Whenever any debt is claimed by a bonded labourer, or a Vigilance Committee, to be a bonded debt, the burden of proof that such debt is not a bonded debt shall lie on the creditor."
Accordingly onus to prove that such debt is not a bonded debt lies on the creditor, which depends upon various facts of the case..
Aryan Raj 15 January 2022
In response to your query,
Section 15 in THE BONDED LABOUR SYSTEM (ABOLITION) ACT, 1976
Burden of proof —Whenever any debt is claimed by a bonded labourer, or a Vigilance Committee, to be a bonded debt, the burden of proof that such debt is not a bonded debt shall lie on the creditor.
Whoever, after the commencement of this Act, compels any person to render any bonded labour shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.
There can be various ways for the creditor to prove that the debt is not a bonded debt depending on the facts of the cases, For example:
NEERJA CHAUDHARY V. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH7
It was alleged by the petitioner that in spite of the fact that a long time has elapsed, quite a number of labourers rescued from Faridabad quarries have not been rehabilitated. It was contended by the petitioner that the State Government was obligated to overlook the rehabilitation of rescued labourers and rehabilitation of labourers is necessary so as to ensure Right to Life guaranteed to them under The Constitution of India, 1950.
The Hon'ble court held that as per the requirements of Article 21 and 23, the bonded labourers need to be identified, rescued and also rehabilitated. The court highlighted the importance of rehabilitation observing that in absence of any concrete measures for rehabilitation of rescued labourers, they would be driven into the state of poverty and substandard conditions again and it might lead them to the bonded labour system again.