Case Brief: Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India and Ors.

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Hon’ble Judges: A.N. Sen, P.N. Bhagwati and R.S. Pathak, JJ

Name of the Court: Supreme Court of India


For Appellant: Govinda Mukhoty, S.K. Bhattacharya and N.R. Chowdhary, Advs

For Respondents: M.N. Phadke, K.B. Rohtagi and S.K. Dhingra, for Respondent No. 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9.

Facts of Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India  and Ors.

The petitioner Bandhua Mukti Morcha is an NGO which works for the welfare of the people. While they were conducting a survey, they found some stone quarries in Faridabad where the workmen were in extreme situations. The working conditions there were very unhygienic and unsuitable for these workers who had come from different parts of the country to work here. The petitioner wrote a letter to Justice Bhagwati regarding the workplace and working conditions of those workmen. This letter was taken as a writ petition under Article 32 of the constitution and a commission was made to enquire about the allegations put forth by the petitioner. The commission proved the allegations to be right and there was infringement of the rights of the labourers.

Issues in Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India and Ors.

The issues of the case are as follows:

1. Whether the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the constitution is valid or not.

2. Whether any fundamental right of the worker was actually violated or not.

3. Whether the Supreme court is empowered to appoint any commission or investigating body under Article 32 of the constitution or not.

4. Whether the workmen mentioned tin the case are bonded labourers are not

5. Whether workmen in the present case entitled to relief under various social labour legislations or not.

Judgement: Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India and Ors.

The Supreme Court found the petition true and therefore gave directions to the government of Haryana, the Central Government and other administrative authorities as follows:

  • The government of Haryana within 6 weeks of the judgement shall constitute a vigilance committee in each division of district to ensure compliance under Section 13 of the Bonded Labour Act, 1976.
  • The government of Haryana will appoint a district magistrate to identify the bonded labour as per the law/
  • The state government also has to take the help of NGO’s and other voluntary agencies to ensure the implementation of the Bonded Labour Act, 1976
  • The government of Haryana, within 3 month of the judgement has to re-habitat the bonded labourers.
  • Both the Central and State Government together must ensure the implementation of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
  • The concern offices from the Central government has to conduct surprise visits at least once a week.
  • The Central Board of Workers education will organise camps often to educate the workers about their rights and benefits provided by law.

Legal Principles involved

The legal principles or the law involved in this case are:

  • Bonded Labour System Act, 1976
  • Mines Rules, 1955
  • Mines Vocational Training Rules, 1966
  • Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
  • Article 32 of the Indian Constitution


The above judgement was provided by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court. The working conditions of bonded labourers was uplifted in this judgement provided. It was ensured that even the basic rights of the labourers are not violated. In conclusion we can say that the overall judgement was appropriate and as per the decision demanded.

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The views of the author are personal only. (if any)

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