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TEA DISTRICTS EMIGRANT LAB0UR ACT, 1932 [REPEALED]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 22 of 1932


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 22 of 1932

Preamble

THE TEA DISTRICTS EMIGRANT LAB0UR ACT, 1932

[Act, No. 22 of 1932]

[AS ON 1957]

[8th October, 1932]

PREAMBLE

An Act to amend the law relating to emigrant labourers in the tea districts of Assam.

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the law relating to emigrant labourers in the tea districts of Assam; It is hereby enacted as follows:

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Tea Districts Emigrant Labour Act, 1932.

{Substituted by the A.O. 1950 for the former sub-section (2).} [(2) It extends to the whole of India {Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "except Part BStates".} [except the State of Jammu and Kashmir].]

(3) It shall come into force on such date {1stOctober, 1933: see Gazette of India, 1933, Pt. I, p. 903.} as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(a) "tea district" means any of the following districts in the State of Assam, namely,

Lakhimpur, Sibsagar, Nowgong, Darrang, Kamrup, Goalpara, {Substituted by the A.O. 1948 for "Cachar and Sylhet".} [and Cachar], and the Balipara Frontier Tract;

(b) "tea estate" means an estate, situated in the tea districts, any part of which is used or is intended to be used for the cultivation or manufacture of tea or for any purpose connected therewith;

{Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for the former cl. (c).} [(c) "recruiting State" means any State other than Assam ;]

(d) "adult" means a person who has completed his sixteenth year, and "child" means a person who is not an adult;

(e) a "labourer" means an adult working on wages not exceeding fifty rupees a month, but does not include a clerk or domestic servant, or a mechanic, carpenter, mason, bricklayer or other artisan;

(f) an "assisted emigrant" means an adult who, after the commencement of this Act, has left his home in any recruiting State {The words "or in any Part BState" omitted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule}, is proceeding through {substituted by section 3 and Schedule, A.O. 1950, for "any part of any Part A State or Part C State".} [any part of the territories to which this Act extends] to any place in Assam to work as a labourer on a tea estate, and has received assistance from any person,

but does not include any person who at any time within the two preceding years has worked as a labourer on a tea estate;

(g) "assistance" means the gift or offer of any money, goods or ticket entitling to conveyance to any person as an inducement to such person to proceed to Assam to work as a labourer on a tea estate, and "assisted" and "with assistance" when used with reference to any person mean that such person has received assistance;

(h) an "emigrant labourer" means a person who has last entered Assam as an assisted emigrant and is employed on a tea estate,

and includes any person who, having accompanied an assisted emigrant to Assam as a child dependent on him, has become an adult and is so employed,

but does not include any person who, at any time after his last entry into Assam and after he has become an adult, has taken employment not on a tea estate;

(i) the "family" of any person includes the following, if living with him, namely,

(i) in the case of a male,his wife and any child and aged or incapacitated relative dependent on him,

(ii) in the case of a married woman,her husband and any child and aged or incapacitated relative dependent on her or on her husband, and

(iii) in the case of any other woman.any child and aged or incapacitated relative dependent on her,

and in the case of an emigrant labourer, includes any person who, having accompanied him to Assam as a child dependent on him, has become an adult and is living with him;

(j) "employing interest" means any employer of labourers, or any group or association of such employers; and

(k) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made by the Central Government.

Section 3. Appointment and status of Controller and Deputy Controllers

(1) The Central Government may appoint a person to be Controller of Emigrant Labour, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred and imposed upon the Controller by or under this Act.

(2) The Central Government may also appoint one or more Deputy Controllers of Emigrant Labour, who shall exercise such of the powers and discharge such of the duties of the Controller as the Central Government may determine.

(3) The Controller may, from time to time and subject to the control of the Central Government, make a distribution of work as between himself and the Deputy Controllers.

(4) The Controller and Deputy Controllers shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Section 4. Powers of the Controller

The Controller shall have power--

(a) to enter

(i) all open places on a tea estate,

(ii) any enclosed place on a tea estate where he knows or has reason to believe emigrant labourers are working or are accommodated,

(iii) any office of a tea estate,

(iv) any office or depot maintained by a labour recruiting agency, in Assam or in a recruiting State,

(v) any train, vessel or vehicle which he knows or has reason to believe is being used for the conveyance of assisted emigrants;

(b) to inspect, in any office or depot mentioned in sub-clauses (iii) and (iv) of clause (a), any register or other document required to be kept under this Act;

(c) to carry out in any place mentioned in clause (a) any inquiry which he may deem to be expedient for carrying out the purposes of this Act; and

(d) to do any other reasonable act which may be expedient in the discharge of his duties.

Section 5. Emigrant Labour Cess

(1) In order to meet expenditure incurred in connection with the Controller, the Deputy Controllers and their staff, or under this Act, an annual cess shall be levied, to be called the Emigrant Labour Cess

(2) It shall be paid in respect of the entry into Assam of each assisted emigrant and shall be payable by the employing interest on whose behalf he was recruited.

(3) It shall be levied at such rate, not exceeding nine rupees, for each such emigrant as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, determine for the year of levy.

(4) The proceeds of the cess shall be credited to a fund, to be called the Emigrant Labour Fund, to be administered by the Central Government.

Section 6. Power to make rules for the collection of the Emigrant Labour Cess

(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules {See the Tea Districts Emigrant Labour Rules, 1933, Ch. III, published in the Gazette of India, 1933, Pt. I, p. 777 et seq., and also, as subsequently amended, in the Tea Districts Emigrant Labour Manual.},

(a) prescribing the agency which shall collect the Emigrant Labour Cess;

(b) prescribing the returns to be submitted to such agency by employers of emigrant labourers, and by persons who recruit or forward emigrant labourers, and the form and date of such returns;

(c) regulating the procedure of the collecting agency;

(d) prescribing the mode of payment of the cess;

(e) determining the date when any sum payable as cess shall be an arrear;

(f) declaring that an arrear of cess may be recovered as an arrear of land revenue and prescribing the procedure to be followed to secure such recovery; and

(g) generally, to secure the equitable collection of the cess.

Chapter II

Section 7. General right of repatriation after three years in Assam

Every emigrant labourer, on the expiry of three years from the date of his entry into Assam, shall have the right of repatriation as against the employer employing him at such expiry.

Section 8. Right to repatriation on dismissal

(1) Any emigrant labourer who, before the expiry of three years from his entry into Assam, is dismissed by his employer, other wise than for wilful and serious misconduct, shall have the right of repatriation against such employer.

(2) Where any emigrant labourer is dismissed by his employer before the expiry of three years from his entry into Assam, and his employer refuses or fails to repatriate him, the labourer may apply to the Controller, and the Controller, after such inquiry as he may think fit and after giving the employer an opportunity to be heard, may declare that the labourer has the right of repatriation against such employer.

Section 9. Rights of repatriation of family of deceased emigrant labourer

(1) Where an emigrant labourer other than a married woman living with her husband and having no child living with her dies within three years of his entry into Assam, the family of such labourer shall be entitled to be repatriated by the employer last employing him.

(2) Where such deceased labourer leaves a widow, she shall be deemed to be an emigrant labourer in whom a right of repatriation has arisen.

(3) Where there is no such widow, the Controller shall have all powers necessary to enforce the rights of the family under this section, and may take such action as he may deem to be expedient in their interests.

Section 10. Right to apply for repatriation in certain circumstances

(1) An emigrant labourer may, before the expiry of three years from his entry into Assam, apply to the Controller for a declaration of his right to repatriation on any of the following grounds, namely:---

(a) that his state of health makes it imperative that he should leave Assam, or

(b) that his employer has failed to provide him with work suited to his capacity at the normal rate of wages for that class of work, or

(c) that his employer has unjustly withheld any portion of any wages due to him, or

(d) any other sufficient cause.

(2) An emigrant labourer may, before the expiry of one year from his entry into Assam, apply to the Controller for a declaration of his right to repatriation on any of the following grounds, namely:

(a) that he was recruited by coercion, undue influence, fraud or misrepresentation, or

(b) that he was recruited otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder.

(3) The Controller, after such inquiry as he may think fit and after giving the employer an opportunity to be heard, may declare that an emigrant labourer applying under this section has a right of repatriation against his employer:

Provided that a declaration in pursuance of clause (d) of subsection (1) may be made by the Controller only and not by any other officer exercising the powers of the Controller by or under this Act.

Section 11. Power of Criminal Courts to order repatriation

Where any employer of an emigrant labourer, or any agent of such employer in authority over such labourer, is convicted of any offence committed against such labourer and punishable under Chapter XVI of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) with imprisonment for one year or upwards, the convicting Court or the appellate Court or the High Court when exercising its powers of revision may declare that such labourer has a right of repatriation against such employer.

Section 12. Incidents of the right of repatriation

(1) When an emigrant labourer has a right of repatriation against any employer, the employer or his agent shall defray the cost of the return journey of the emigrant labourer and his family from the station nearest the employer's tea estate to the home of the labourer and shall provide subsistence allowances on the prescribed scale for such labourer and his family for the time requisite for him and his family to travel from such estate to his home:

Provided that where the emigrant labourer is a married woman living with her husband who is also an emigrant labourer, her right of repatriation arising under section 7 shall extend only to herself and any children dependent on her:

Provided further that a married woman living with her husband is entitled to be treated as a member of his family notwithstanding that she is herself an emigrant labourer.

(2) In the event of any dispute regarding the cost of the return Journey or subsistence allowances, the question shall be referred for decision to the Controller.