Article 23 of the Indian constitution deals with the right against exploitation and Article 24 of the Indian constitution mentions about the prohibition of employment of children. Here we will look into Article 23 and Article 24 of the Indian constitution and some of the related and relevant case laws. Article 23 of the Indian constitution prohibits traffic in human beings and begar (free service) and other forms of forced labor. Clause (2) however imposes state to permit compulsory service for the public purpose provided that it should be made without any discrimination on the grounds of religion, raise, caste or class. Here, there is a need to analyze some of the important cases in which Article 23 of the Indian constitution is applied.
In one of the important case, Deena v Union of India (1993), the Supreme Court clearly held that the prisoners are entitled to the payment of reasonable wages for the work taken from them and the court is under a duty to enforce their claim. In another important case, Kahaoson Thangkul v Simirie Shailei, the court has abolished a custom that each householder of the village should offer one day of free labor to the village headman. The court concluded that the said custom is being violative of Article 23(1) of the Indian constitution. In another case, Dubar Gola v Union of India, the validity of an agreement by which porters at Howrah railway station voluntarily agreed to do two hours of extra work for the railway administration; the court in this case clearly held that it is not at all violative of Article 23(1) of the Indian constitution. Because, they have voluntarily agreed to do the work which destroyed the element of forced labor.
Article 24 of the Indian constitution prohibits employment of children below the age of fourteen years of age in factories and hazardous employment. There is a need to analyze certain relevant and important cases to understand this Article in wider manner.
In one of the important case, People Union for Democratic Rights v Union of India, the Court has included constructive work also in the list of the hazardous employment even though it was not specified in the children’s Act. The court has also advised the state government to take immediate and necessary steps for the inclusion of construction work in the respective schedules.
In a relevant and important case, MC Mehta v State of Tamil Nadu(1996), the Supreme Court clearly held that the children below fourteen years of age cannot be employed in hazardous and dangerous sites and lay down guidelines for the protection of the social, economic and humanitarian rights of the children. These are all about Article 24 of the Indian constitution and related case laws in which this Article is applied.
Therefore we have analyzed in detail about Article 23 of the Indian constitution, its importance and some of the important case laws in which this Article is applied. We have also looked into Article 24 of the Indian constitution, its relevance and had also analyzed certain relevant and related case laws.