Report No. 223
Conclusion and Recommendation
4.1 Various laws have been enacted to eradicate poverty: some of them directly deal with them and some of them indirectly.
4.2 The Code of Civil Procedure 1908 has some provisions for the poor. Order XXXIII CPC deals with suits by indigent persons, defence by an indigent person as well as free legal services to indigent persons. Appeals by indigent persons are dealt with under Order XLIV CPC.
4.3 Section 304 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 enables legal aid to accused at State expense in certain cases. Chapter XXXIII CrPC, inter alia, provides for release of an indigent accused person on executing a personal bond instead of taking bail, if he is unable to furnish surety.
4.4 Various labour laws, including the Minimum Wages Act 1948 providing for minimum wage for the means of livelihood, Workmen's Compensation Act 1923, Maternity Benefit Act 1961, Payment of Bonus Act 1965, Equal Remuneration Act 1976, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, the Indian Penal Code prohibiting buying or disposing of any person as a slave, habitual dealing in slaves, selling or buying of minors for purposes of prostitution or illicit intercourse and unlawful compulsory labour (sections 370 to 374) are but a few examples in the direction of alleviating the lot of the poor. There are many others. Nevertheless, their tardy implementation makes us lag far behind in effectively dealing with the problem.
4.5 In spite of the constitutional safeguards and State legislative intervention in favour of the poor and the needy, their socio-economic condition is deteriorating. Social and economic equality still remains a mirage for them.
4.6 We are of the view that the Union and the State Governments should accord top priority to implementation of the judgments rendered by our Supreme Court in their letter and spirit in order that the lot of the have-nots is ameliorated.
4.7 We recommend accordingly.