‘Large sections suffer due to misuse of law by few’


Justice A.K. Sikri speaks on labour laws

The second Dr. Anand Prakash Memorial Lecture on ‘The Four Labour Codes: Emerging Challenges and Scope of Labour Rights in India,’ organised by the Multiple Action Research Group on Saturday.

Speaking at the lecture, former Supreme Court judge, Justice A.K. Sikri said, “When we speak of economic progress of the country it is ultimately for the people of the country. In spite of provisions which are favourable, large sections of workers, women and differently abled among others suffer due to misuse of the law by a few. But does that mean that you change the law against the people who are most affected by it?”

The lecture was organised to prompt discussions around the proposed labour legislation by the Centre which intends to merge 44 labour laws under four categories or codes — wages, social security, industrial safety and welfare.

While stating that it is important to reflect upon whether the proposed legislation will help in the ease of doing business, Justice Sikri added, “In the first 20-25 years of liberalisation, the country’s growth rate was one of the highest. Now there is an economic slowdown. Exports are dwindling and unemployment is increasing. While welfare steps are required, it is also important to emphasise on increasing employment and concentrating on vocational studies.”

While Justice Sikri also highlighted the importance of increasing workers participation in the management, labour rights activist Subhash Bhatnagar added that consultation with the beneficiaries before bringing in the new legislation is of prime importance.

“A lot of the draft policies are uploaded on websites. In a country like ours where a large section is semi-literate or unread, how can this mode be considered as having consultations? There is also a total lack of understanding on mobilising resources...,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 4:40:19 AM |

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