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Report No. 249

22. Madras Compulsory Labour Act, Act 1 of 1858

Category: Labour Laws

Recommendation: Repeal

The Act made lawful to compel labourers to prevent and repair any mischief by inundations caused by sudden breach of embankments of tanks, rivers and canals in the Presidency of Fort St. George in Madras. Although enacted by the Governor-General-in-Council prior to independence, it is now administered by the relevant State which also has the power to repeal or amend this law.

Therefore, the Central Government should write to the concerned State Government recommending the review of this law by the State, with a view to repeal, particularly since it deals with compulsory labour which goes against rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The Central Government should also remove this law from its lists of central Acts in force. This Act has also been recommended for repeal by the PC Jain Commission Report (Appendix A-5).


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