The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Union and the Delhi Governments to file separate affidavits mentioning all the projects that each one of them was implementing for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the city.
A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta further asked the two to inform it the names and addresses and principal officers of each of the contractors implementing the projects.
The respondents would obtain from the contractors details of workers employed by each one of them, the Bench said.
After gathering of all the information, steps would be taken by the Delhi Government to register the workers and issue passbooks to them in accordance with the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, the Bench stated.
As to the safety equipment given to the workers, the Bench said it should be given free, and if any money had earlier been charged from them in lieu of that, the same would be refunded to them within two weeks.
Earlier, the Delhi Government in its status report informed the Court that so far more than 25,000 workers had been registered and the process was on for the rest.
It stated that it had ordered printing of registration forms and passbooks so that a proper record of labourers employed and wages paid to them was maintained.
The Court had last Wednesday asked the Delhi Government to inform it by what time it would be able to ensure the minimum mandatory working conditions at the Commonwealth Games sites.
The Court has been hearing a public interest litigation filed by the People’s Union for Democratic Rights and others alleging that the workers were working in unhygienic conditions, and not getting minimum wages.
The Court had later appointed a four-member committee asking it to probe the charges. The Committee after visiting the sites had earlier this month informed the Court that the workers at the Games sites were not getting proper wages and working in unsafe and unhygienic conditions.
It said that the system for payment of wages prevailing at the work sites was found to be prone to abuse.
The workers seemed unaware of the relevant law and rules which makes their plight more vulnerable, the report further said
In many cases workers were found not receiving overtime wages at all, and those who were paid were paid at the rate of ordinary wages for the day against the statutory provision of double the rate of ordinary wages, the report stated.