There was no dearth of laws on the vital socio-economic issues in the country, but the lack of proper implementation rendered them ineffective, former chief justice of India T S Thakur said here on Tuesday.
Speaking at a seminar on “Right to work and living wage”, he said the speed with which the constitutional promises were needed to be honoured was “slow”.
“There are hundreds of laws. The problem lies in their implementation. Any law on right to work will meet the same fate as has happened to the right to education,” Justice Thakur said, pointing to the shortcomings in the implementation of the provisions for universal education.
He referred to various constitutional and legal provisions that mentioned “right to work”, while also saying they were not binding on the State.
“As per Article 41 of the Constitution, the government is directed to make provisions for right to work and assistance in case of unemployment, but there is a condition that it will do so within the limits of its economic capacity,” the former CJI said.
The seminar organised by the Bandhua Mukti Morcha was also addressed by its head, Swami Agnivesh, and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.
Right to work and living wage were long-standing demands of the CPI(M) and the party would support a political movement to achieve this, Yechury said.
The Left parties, including the CPI(M), were at the forefront while demanding right to work in 2004 that paved the way for the national rural employment guarantee scheme, he added.
Agnivesh said the right to work needed to be included in the Constitution as one of the fundamental rights of the people. Yechury too supported the demand.
Agnivesh said his organisation had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court for a national minimum wage, which will come up for hearing on July 30.
He added that the around 50 crore workers in the unorganised sector should be given wages equal to that of the Class IV government employees, as fixed by the 7th Pay Commission.