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Delhi HC suggests DBOCW board not to make Aadhaar compulsory for renewal of labour registration due to COVID-19

ANI | Updated: Jul 03, 2020 21:42 IST

New Delhi [India], July 3 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has suggested the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers (DBOCW) Welfare Board that the collection of information about the family members with their Aadhaar Cards details should be suspended at a time when there is a rush as well as urgency for grant of renewal of labour registrations in the view of COVID-19 pandemic.
The suggestions came when the court was hearing a plea filed by activist Sunil Kumar Aledia through advocate Shiven Varma seeking to provide relief and all mandated benefits to workers and migrant labourers and also sought an order directing the respondents and concerned authorities to ensure that all the construction workers whose names have been filed by construction companies and employers with the Labour Department are promptly registered as beneficiaries under the Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act (BOCW Act).
" our view, at this point of time, when there is rush as well as urgency for grant of renewal of registrations in view of the prevalent pandemic, the collection of information about the family members with their Aadhaar Cards details should be suspended, at least, in respect of those applicants who are seeking renewal of their lapsed registration," the Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar said.
The court said that applications for renewal should be entertained even without details of family members of the applicant and asked to delete the said entry/ column from the Application form required to be filled for renewal of registration.
Instead, they must be given a reasonable time like three months of the date of their renewal on this issue.
The court directed the respondent Board to forthwith carry out the necessary changes/ amendments in their on-line Application Form for registration/ renewal of registration in accordance with all the directions contained in the preceding paragraphs, and to report compliance on the next date.
The court order came after another petitioner counsel Shyel Trehan told the court that the application form - presently in use, requires the applicant to disclose particulars of his family members along with their Adhaar Card numbers. Advocate Trehan has also submitted various grievance faced by labours while filling up the renewal forms.
Trehan has submitted that all the forms required to be filled by the applicants are presently hosted on the E-District Portal of the Delhi Govt.
She submitted that uploading of each form takes over an hour, due to huge web-traffic and overburdening on the E-District Portal. Delhi State Legal Service Authority Secretary Kanwaljeet Arora has pointed out that in his meeting with Ali Ashraf - the Secretary of the Board, he had raised the issue that the process of registration and renewal could be delinked from the E-District Portal of the Delhi Govt in the light of the over-burdening of the said portal.
Considering the fact that the Board has to deal with lakhs of workmen, the court said that the Board should seriously examine the aspect of having its own website.
"The Board is presently having sufficient funds to be able to have its own website developed. This would enable the applicants to upload their forms for registration/ renewal without any difficulty," the court said.
The court asked the Board to file compliance affidavit on all the aspects before the next date and listed the matter for further hearing on July 9. (ANI)