Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The preceding paragraphs have dealt mainly with the moneylender who threatens his victim with legal proceedings and, more rarely, drives him into court. There are, however, many money lenders who prey upon workers and depend upon the threat of violence rather than of the processes of the law. The lathi is the only court to which they appeal, and they may be seen waiting outside the factory gate on pay-day ready to pounce on their debtors as they emerge. Our recommendations should not be ineffective even in their case, for they are as a rule fairly scrupulous even in using intimidation, and seldom employ it to exact more than the law allows. But stronger measures are justified, particularly as the object of waiting outside the factory is to ensure that their claims form the first charge on wages.
We recommend, therefore, that besetting an industrial establishment for the recovery of debts be made a criminal and cognisable offence. Besetting might be defined as loitering within the precincts or near or within sight of any gate or outlet of the establishment. This should go far to cripple the activities of a class of money-lender already generally regarded as a pest to society. It should also bring to an end the still more deplorable practice of some employers who permit the money-lender to enter the factory compound and to collect his dues before the workers' wages reach their hands.