In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) “advance” means an advance, whether in cash or kind, or partly in cash or partly in kind, made by one person (hereinafter referred to as the creditor) to another person (hereinafter referred to as the debtor);
(b) “agreement” means an agreement (whether written or oral, or partly written and partly oral) between a debtor and creditor, and includes an agreement providing for forced labour, the existence of which is presumed under any social custom prevailing in the concerned locality.
Explanation : The existence of an agreement between the debtor and creditor is ordinarily presumed, under the social customs, in relation to the following forms of forced labour, namely : Adiyamar, Baramasia, Basahya, Bethu, Bhagela, Cherumar, Garru- Galu, Hali, Hari, Harwail, Holya, Jana, Jeetha, Kamiya, Khundit- Mundit, Kuthia, Lakhari, Munjhi, Mat, Munish system, Nit-Majoor, Paleru, Padiyal, Pannayilal, Sagri, Sanji, Sanjawat, Sewak, Sewakia, Seri, Vetti;
(c) “ascendant” or “descendant”, in relation to a person belonging to a matriarchal society, means the person who corresponds to such expression in accordance with the law of succession in force in such society;
(d) “bonded debt” means an advance obtained, or presumed to have been obtained, by a bonded labourer under, or in pursuance of, the bonded labour system;
(e) “bonded labour” means any labour or service rendered under the bonded labour system;
(f) “bonded labourer” means a labourer who incurs, or has, or is presumed to have, incurred, a bonded debt;
(g) “bonded labour system” means the system of forced, or partly forced, labour under which a debtor enters, or has, or is presumed to have, entered, into an agreement with the creditor to the effect that –
(i) in consideration of an advance obtained by him or by any of his lineal ascendants or descendants (whether or not such advance is evidenced by the document) and in consideration of the interest, if any, due on such advance, or
(ii) in pursuance of any customary or social obligation, or
(iii) in pursuance of any obligation devolving on him by succession, or
(iv) for any economic consideration received by him or by any of his lineal ascendants or descendants, or
(v) by reason of his birth in any particular caste or community, he would
– (1) render, by himself or through any member of his family, or any person dependent on him, labour or service, to the creditor, or for the benefit of the creditor, for a specific period or for an unspecified period, either without wages or for nominal wages, or
(2) forfeit the freedom of employment or other means of livelihood for an specified period or for an unspecified period, or
(3) forfeit the right to move freely throughout the territory of India, or
(4) forfeit the right to appropriate or sell at market-value any of his property or product of his labour or the labour of a member of his family or any person dependent on him. and includes the system of forced, or partly forced, labour under which a surety for a debtor enters, or has, or is presumed to have, entered into an agreement with the creditor to the effect that in the event of the failure of the debtor to repay the debt, he would render the bonded labour on behalf of the debtor;
1Explanation : For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that any system of forced, or partly forced labour under which any workman being contract labour as defined in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (37 of 1970), or an inter-State migrant workman as defined in clause (e) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 (30 of 1979), is required to render labour or service in circumstances of the nature mentioned in sub-clause (1) of this clause or is subjected to all or any of the disabilities referred to in sub-clauses (2) to (4), is ‘bonded labour system’ within the meaning of this clause.
(h) “family”, in relation to a person, includes the ascendant and descendant of such person;
(i) “nominal wages”, in relation to any labour, means a wage which is less than,-
(a) the minimum wages fixed by the Government, in relation to the same or similar labour, under any law for the time being in force ; and
(b) where no such minimum wage has been fixed in relation to any form of labour, the wages that are normally paid, for the same or similar labour, to the labourers working in the same locality;
(j) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act.
1.Ins. by Act 73 of 1985. sec. 2 (w.e.f. 24-12-1985).