Bonded Labour (prohibition) Act, 2058 (2002)


Published: 2002

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Bonded Labour Prohibition Act, 2058 E
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Bonded Labour ( Prohibition )Act, 2058 (2002)
Date of Authentication and Publication
2058.11.15 (2002-4-20)
Act Number 21 of the Year 2058 (2002)
An act made to provide for provisions relating to
prohibition on bonded labour
Preamble: Whereas, it is expedient to make provisions in order to put a ban on
bonded labour (Kamaay shram), to rehabilitate the freed bonded labourers and to
uplift their livelihood from the perspectives of social justice.
Now, therefore be it enacted by the Parliament in the first years of reign of
the His majesty the King Gayanedra Bir Bikram Shah dev.
Chapter - 1
Preliminary
1. Short Title and Commencement: (1) This Act may be called "Bonded
Labour (prohibition) Act, 2058 (2002)."
(2) This Act shall come in force immediately.
2. Definition : Unless the subject or context otherwise requires; n this Act-
(a) "Bonded labour (Kamaya shram)" means the labour or service to
be rendered for a creditor for the following reason without wages
or with nominal wages.
(1) To pay back the debt obtained by him/ her or family
and to pay the interest thereof.
(2) To pay back the debt obtained by his/her ascendant
and to pay back the interest thereof.

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(3) To pay back the bonded debt of bonded labourer by a
person who has given a guarantee before the credito
on behalf of a bonded labourer.
(b) ‘Bonded labourer’ means a person who is working as a bonded
labourer in the name of Bhaisawar, Gaiwar, Bardikar,, Chhekarwar,
Haruwa, Charuwa, Hali, Gothlo kamalariya or by any other
similar name.
(c) "Bonded debt" means the cash, commodity or kind obtained by the
bonded labourer from a creditor and this expression also includes
"Sauki or other debt.
(d) "Creditor" means a person who provides debt to a b nded labourer.
(e) "Family" means father, mother, husband, wife, son or unmarried
daughter and this expression also includes coparcene of bonded
labourer if the bonded labourer is the head the joint family.
(f) "Freed bonded labourer” means a bonded labourer who has been set
free pursuant to Section 3.
(g) "Committee" means Freed Bonded Labourer Rehabilitation and
Monitoring Committee constituted pursuant to Section 8.
(h) "Welfare Officer" means the welfare officer as referred to in Section
10.
(i) "Fund" means the Fund as referred to in Section 12.
(j) "Agro-labour" means a person who carries out the work prescribed
by the Government of Nepal by publishing a Notification in the
Nepal gazette.
(k) "Prescribed" or "as prescribed" means prescribed or as prescribed in
the Rules framed under this Act.

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Chapter - 2
Provision relating to prohibition on bonded labour
3. To be freed from bonded labourer: Every person who is serving as
bonded labourer at the time of the commencement of this Act shall, ipso
facto, be freed from bonded labour after the commencement of this Act.
4. Prohibition against employment to serve as a bonded labourer:
No one shall keep or employ any one as a bonded labourer after the
commencement of this Act.
Chapter 3
Provision relating to bonded debt

5. To be freed from bonded debt: After the commencement of this Act, no
bonded labourer shall be obliged to pay back the bonded debt obtained by
him/her from any creditor.
6. Deeds (instrument) or Agreement to be void: Notwithstanding
anything contained in the prevailing law, all the de s (instrument) or
written or gentleperson agreement (verbal agreement) concluded between
the creditor and the bonded labourer in respect of debt shall ,ipso facto, be
void after the commencement of this Act.
7. Obligation to refund the property taken as a mortgage or
guarantee: The creditor shall refund the property taken by him/ er as a
mortgage or guarantee, if any, in the course of providing debt to the bonded
labourer to the concerned person within a period of Three months after the
commencement of this Act.



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Chapter -4
Constitution, functions, duties
and powers of the Committee
8. Constitution of the Committee: (1) In order to work in respect of
rehabilitation of freed bonded labourer, there shall be a Freed Bonded
labourer Rehabilitation and Monitoring Committee in the districts as
prescribed by the Government of Nepal.
(2) The composition of the Committee shall be as follows.
(a) Chairperson of District Development
Committee - Chairperson
(b) Chief of District police office - Member
(c) Chief of the District Education Office - Member
(d) Officer of District administration office - Member
(e) Chief of District Forest Office - Member
(f) Chief of District land Reform Office - Member
(g) Chief of Labour Office - Member
(h) Chief of District Agriculture
Development Office - Member
(i) One person from among the chiefs
of banking officer In district level - Member
(j) One person from among union or association
of peasants in district level - Member
(k) Maximum three persons from among the
Trade union or association - Member
(l) One person from among the
non-governmental organizations which has
worked in respect of bonded labourer - Member

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(m) One person form freed bonded labourer -Member
(n) Welfare officer - Member Secretary
(3) The chairperson shall nominate the member as referred to in
Clauses (i), (j), (k), (l), (m) of Sub-section (2).
(4) Procedure relating to the meetings of the Committee shall be as
determined by the Committee itself.
9. Functions, duties and powers of the Committee: Functions, duties
and powers of the committee shall be as follows:
(a) To cause to prepare the up-to-date record of the freed bonded
labourers.
(b) To make necessary arrangement for the rehabilitation of the freed
bonded labourers.
(c) To implement the programme approved by the Government of Nepal
for the rehabilitation of the freed bonded labourers
(d) To monitor as to whether anyone has employed as a bonded labourer
or not.
(e) To recommend the Government of Nepal, Bank or financial
institution for providing required loan to the freed bonded labourers
to carry out the business relating to income generation.
(f) To keep co-ordination with various bodies or inst tutions in respect
of the residence, education or employment oriented skill
development training for the freed bonded labourers.
(g) To perform necessary functions to protect the right and interest of
the freed bonded labourers.
(h) To perform other functions as prescribed.

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Chapter - 5
Welfare Officer and other provisions
10. Welfare officer: The Government of Nepal may designate any of its'
officer to work as a Welfare Officer in order to perform the work, as may
be required, in respect of the right and interest of the freed bonded
labourers
11. Functions, Duties and powers of the Welfare Officer: The functions,
duties and powers of the Welfare Officer shall be as follows:
(a) To maintain the record of the freed bonded labourers,
(b) To perform the work as directed or assigned by the Committee in
respect of the right and interest of the freed bonded labourer,
(c) To implement or cause to implement the decision made by the
Committee.
(d) To perform other functions as prescribed.
12 Fund: (1) In order to perform the work, as may be required, in respect of
the right and interest of the freed bonded labourer, there shall be a Fund and
the following moneys shall be deposited on the Fund.
(a) Money obtained from the Government of Nepal as a
grant.
(b) Moneys obtained from foreign person, government or
institution or organization through the Government of
Nepal.
(c) Money obtained from other sources.
(2) The money collected on the Fund shall be deposited n an
account of a Bank
(3) Welfare officer shall operate the Fund by adopting he method
prescribed by the Government of Nepal and as per the direction of the
Committee.

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13. Power to determine the rate of minimum wage: (1) The Government
of Nepal shall, by a Notification in the Nepal gazette, determine the rate of
minimum wage for agro-labourer.
(2) No agro-labourer shall be employed without paying wages or
with lower wages than the minimum rate determined pursuant to Sub-
section (1).
14. To provide settlement and employment: The Government of Nepal
shall provide the facility of settlement, employment a d income generation
as prescribed to the freed bonded labourers.
Chapter -6
Complaint, penalty and appeal
15. Complaint may be lodged: (1) If some one commits any act violating
the provisions of this Act, the victim him/herself or a member of his/her
family, union, institution or an official of a local body may lodge a written
complaint or forwards verbal notice before the Adjudicating Authority
along with the evidences so collected in this rega d
(2) If a person forwards a verbal notice pursuant to Sub-section (1)
the Adjudicating Authority shall cause to prepare such verbal notice as a
written complaint and cause to put the signature of the complainant. (3 (
Not withstanding anything contained in the prevailing law, the complainant
referred to in Sub-section (1) shall not be obliged to appear on the date for
the trial of the case .
16. Penalty: (1) If a person employs any one as a bonded labourer violating
Section 4, the Adjudicating Authority shall impose a fine on him/her not
less than Fifteen Thousand Rupees and not exceeding Twenty five thousand
Rupees; and shall provide the two-fold amount of the minimum wage as
determined pursuant to this Act for the each day of employment to the
victim from such employer (offender).

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(2) If a person fails to refund the property taken as a mortgage or
guarantee pursuant to Section 7, the Adjudicating Authority shall impose a
fine on him /her not less than Ten Thousand Rupees and not exceeding
Fifteen Thousand Rupees and shall cause to refund the said property to the
concerned person.
(3) If a person employs any one without paying wages or with lower
wages than the minimum rate, the Adjudicating Authori y shall impose a
fine on him/her not less than One Thousand Rupees and not exceeding
Three Thousand Rupees; and shall provide the two-fold amount of the
minimum wage as determined pursuant to this Act for the each day of
employment to the victim from such employer (offendr).
(4) If a person hinders or obstructs to anyone in the course of
investigation of any act committed contrary to this Act, the Adjudicating
Authority shall impose a fine on him/her not less than Three Thousand
Rupees and not exceeding Ten Thousand Rupees.
(5) Save as provided in Sub-section (1), (2), (3) and (4), if a person
commits an act in contravention of this Act and theRules framed here
under, the Adjudicating Authority shall impose a fine on him/her not less
than One Thousand Rupees and not exceeding Three Thousand Rupees.
(6) If a person knowingly/willingly or with an intention to make
trouble to anyone lodges a fake complaint, the Adjudicating Authority shall
impose a fine on him/her not less than One Thousand Rupees and not
exceeding Three Thousand Rupees.
(7) If a person, who has committed an act as referrd to in Sub-
section (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6), holds an office of public profit or a
person who has been already punished under this Act, again commits the
same act, the Adjudicating Authority shall impose two-fold punishment of
the punishment mentioned in the concerned Sub-section

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17. Adjudicating Authority: The Chief District Officer of the concerned
district shall have the powers to adjudicate the case under this Act.
18. Appeal: A person who is not satisfied with the decisions made by the
Adjudicating Authority under this Act may file an appeal with Court of
Appeal within Thirty Five days of the decision.
Chapter -7
Miscellaneous
19. Procedure of case: The Adjudicating Authority shall, while trying the
case under this Act, follow the procedure as referrd to in Special Court
Act, 2059.
20. Onus of Proof: If a question arises as to whether a deed or agreement has
been prepared for the purpose of providing debt, the onus of proof lies with
the person who claims that the said deed or agreement has not been
prepared for providing the debt .
21. Duty to submit the report: (1) Concerned Village Development
Committee or Municipality shall inspect within its’ jurisdiction as to
whether a person has employed any one or not in contravention of this Act
and submit a report with its' own opinion to the Committee for at least once
in every six months.
(2) The Welfare Officer shall, every year, submit an annual report on
the works performed by the Committee, to the Governme t of Nepal.
22. The Government of Nepal may issue directives: The Government of
Nepal may, for the rehabilitation of the freed bonded labourers, issue
directives to the Committee and Welfare Officer and it shall be the duty of
the Committee and Welfare Officers to abide by such directives.
23. Power to frame Rules: To implement the objectives of this Act, the
Government of Nepal may frame necessary Rules.