1. We are asked in this civil petition by the Management of a Newspaper industry to quash an order made by the Labour Court under Section 17 of the Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1955 which will be referred to as the 1955 Act and Section 9 of the Working (Fixation of Rates and Wages) Act 1958 which will be referred to as the 1958 Act. By that order which was made on an application presented by six quondam employees of the newspaper concern, the Labour Court directed the payment of the wages which became due under the 1955 Act on their fixation under the 1958 Act. section 2(f) of the 1955 Act defines a working journalist, and it is undisputed that respondents 1 to 6 during the period to which the claim made by them related were working journalists as defined by that clause. section 17 of that Act authorises an application by a 'newspaper employee' to an authority specified by the state Government for a certificate to the Collector that the amount claimed by him was due, and, that certificate when granted, authorised the Collector to recover the amount specified in the certificate as an arrear of land revenue.
2. Section 9 of the 1958 Act contains similar provisions for the recovery of the amount fixed as wages under the provisions of that Act. The expression 'newspaper employee' occurring in Section 17 of the 1955 Act is defined by Section 2(c) of that Act and that definition says that a newspaper employee means a working journalist.
3. The petitioner which is the newspaper concern did not dispute that respondents 1 to 6 were working journalists during the period to which the claim made by them related. But it was contended before the Labour Court that since on the date of the presentation of their applications for a certificate they ceased to be employees, they were not working journalists at that point of time, and so the relevant statutory provisions became inapplicable. The Labour Court repelled that contention which is again reiterated before us by Mr. Farukhi, the petitioner's learned Advocate.
4. We are of the opinion that the cessation of the relationship of employer and employee between respondents 1 to 6 and the petitioner at the point of time when a claim was made did not make the provisions of Section 17 of the 1955 Act and those of Section 9 of 1958 Act, inapplicable. The scheme of these two laws makes it clear that their purpose was to assist speedy recovery of the amounts which became due to a working journalist when he was an employee and the postulate that the right to that speedy recovery perishes when the working journalist ceases to be an employee cannot be sound. Neither section 17 of the one Act nor Section 9 of the other, restricts its provision to a person who is still a working journalist when the claim is made. On the contrary, their provisions reveal that if the person who makes a claim was a working journalist during the period to which the claim relates, he could seek the recovery of the amount due to him whether or not he continued to be a working journalist during the period to which the claim is made.
5. There is something in Section 9 of the 1958 Act which reinforces this view. That section provides that recovery under its provisions is possible even after the death of working journalist and at the instance of his legal representative. If a legal representative of a working journalist can make a claim under that Section after the death of the working journalist, there can be scant reason for thinking that a working journalist after he ceases to be an employee cannot himself make a claim.
6. The emphasis of Section 17 of the 1955 Act and Section 9 of the 1958 Act is on the existence of the relationship of employer and employee during the period to which the claim relates. It does not insist upon the subsistence of that relationship when the claim is made. If the object of the two laws is to assist speedy recovery of the emoluments due to an employee so that he could be protected against privation and economic embarrassment, there would be no justification for taking the view that one who is still an employee and therefore continues to earn is alone entitled to speedy recovery of the amounts due to him while one who has ceased to earn on cessation of employment is not.
7. Mr. Farukhi does not dispute that the amounts determined to be due to respondents 1 to 6 was really due to them.
8. We therefore dismiss this civil petition.
10. Petition dismissed.