Art 23 – 24:
Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour. Art 23 (1) of constitution prohibits traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour. It also states that any contravention of this provision shall be punishable in accordance with law.
Clause (2) however authorizes the State to impose compulsory services for public purposes, provided that in imposing such services the state shall not make any discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
Under Art 35 of the constitution parliament is authorized to make laws for punishing acts prohibited by this Article. In pursuance of this parliament has passed the suppression of immoral traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 for punishing acts which result in traffic in human beings. In pursuance of Art. 23, the bonded labour system has also been abolished and declared illegal by the bonded labour system Act, 1976. In furtherance of this Art. S 390 is included in the Indian Penal code, which provides that whoever imports, exports, removes, buys, sells or disposes of any person as a slave or accepts, receives or detains against his will any person as a slave shall be punished with imprisonment.
Beggar under this article means enforcing a person to do work without consideration.
In Kahaosan Thangkhu vs. Simirci Shailes case, in Manipur there was a village in which there was a custom of offering one day’s free labour to the village headman. This custom was held violative of Art. 23.
(See, Atma Ram vs. State of Bihar AIR 1952 Pat 350, Peoples Union for Domestic Rights vs Union of India (1982) 3 Sec. 235, sec 24 Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc. This article provides that no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
In lieu of this Article legislature enacted child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986.
In People’s Union for Democratic rights vs. Union of India (1982)3 sec. 231 and Labourers Salal Hydro Project vs. State of J.K. (1983) 3SCC, the Supreme Court held that employment of children below 14 years even in construction work amounts to violation of Art. 24.