Illegal Recruirment agencies under scanner
As scores of Odias head to South East Asia and Gulf countries in search of jobs, the Crime Branch (CB) has asked police to crack down on unlicensed recruitment agencies so that the workers do not face exploitation by employers due to illegal emigration.
BHUBANESWAR: As scores of Odias head to South East Asia and Gulf countries in search of jobs, the Crime Branch (CB) has asked police to crack down on unlicensed recruitment agencies so that the workers do not face exploitation by employers due to illegal emigration.
A circular, issued by Special DG of CB Bijay Sharma, invokes the Emigration Act, 1983 which specifies that no agency can carry out recruitment without certification of Protector General of Emigrants which is the designated registering authority. Anyone recruiting emigrants without a valid certificate will be liable for imprisonment for two years and fine of `2,000. The CB circular stated that recruitment of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers from the State to foreign countries has grown tremendously in the recent years.
Often such recruitments are carried out by unaut h o r i s e d p e r s o n s a n d organisations who do not hold a valid licence as provided under the Emigration Act. As a result, workers are not only stranded and wrongfully confined, but also exploited by the employers. Even after repatriation with intervention of Government, the emigrants face difficulties in getting police assistance in initiating legal action against the unauthorised agents.
The Crime Branch circular is a call to all District Police, Commissionerate of Police as well as Police Ranges so that they could act against illegally operating recruitment agencies. Sharma said senior police officers have been requested to circulate the order among all police stations so that IICs are sensitised about Emigration Act, 1983 and appropriate legal action can be taken against unlicensed agencies involved in fraudulent and illegal emigration.
As per the circular, Section 16 of Emigration Act, 1983 mandates an employer to recruit any citizen of India for employment in any country or place outside India only through a recruiting agent with a valid permit. Anyone violating the provisions is liable for imprisonment for two years and fine up to `2,000. A second conviction means double the punishment provided under the Act. The Act also provides for similar punishment for a company, including a firm or other association of individuals. In recent months, many Odia workers have been detained on foreign soil over similar issues but recruitment agencies which operate in Kendrapara and Bhubaneswar have escaped the police scanner.