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Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976

12. DUTY OF DISTRICT MAGISTRATE AND OFFICERS AUTHORISED BY HIM .

It shall be the duty of every District Magistrate and every officer specified by him under Section 10 to inquire whether, after the commencement of this Act, any bonded labor system or any other form of forced labor is being enforced by, or on behalf of, any person resident within the local limits of his jurisdiction and if, as a result of such inquiry, any person is found to be enforcing the bonded labor system or any other system of forced labor, he shall forthwith take such action as may be necessary to eradicate of such forced labor.

Comment: whenever it is shown that a laborer is made to provide forced labor, the Court would raise a presumption that he is required to do so in consideration of an advance or other economic consideration received by him and he is therefore a bonded laborer. This presumption may be rebutted by the employer and also by the State Government if it so chooses but unless and until satisfactory material is produced for rebutting this presumption, the Court must proceed on the basis that the laborer is a bonded laborer entitled to the benefit of the provisions of the Act. Bandhua Mukti Morcha , Petitioner v. Union of India and others, Respondents. AIR 1984 SUPREME COURT 80



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