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Pentala Kotiah Vs. State Public Prosecutor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Misc. Petn. No. 1586 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1966AP375; 1966CriLJ1376; [1966(12)FLR423]; (1966)IILLJ343AP
ActsPayment of Wages Act, 1936 - Sections 2; Industrial Disputes Act - Sections 15(5) and 25F(B)
AppellantPentala Kotiah
RespondentState Public Prosecutor
Appellant AdvocateA.R. Krishnaswamy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateInnayya Reddy for Public Prosecutor
Disposition Petition dismissed
Excerpt:
labour and industrial - retrenchment compensation - sections 2 (6) (d) and 15 (5) (b) of payment of wages act, 1936 and section 25-f (b) of industrial dispute act - under section 15 (5) (b) only wages to be collected - whether retrenchment compensation can be collected under section 15 (5) (b) - retrenchment compensation is implied term of contract and come within definition of wages - held, retrenchment compensation can be collected under section 15 (5) (b). - - such compensation satisfied the conditions mentioned in section 2(vi)(d) of the payment of wages art viz......kotayya directing him to deposit the sum of rs. 1,125 on or before 13-8-1965. obviously, the learned magistrate was proceeding under section 15(5)(b) of the payment of wages act (central act iv of 1936). the petitioner, pentala kotayya appeared by an advocate before the learned magistrate and filed a petition contending that the amount sought to be recovered from him was not an amount which could be collected under section 15(5)(b) of the act and that only wages could be collected by resort to that provision. on behalf of the petitioner, it was contended before the learned magistrate that the matter involved a question of jurisdiction and that it should be decided either by the learned magistrate himself or that a reference might be made to the high court. the learned magistrate.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Anantanarayana Ayyar, J.

1. The petitioner, Pentala Kotayya, has filed this petition praying for quashing the proceeding in the Court of the learned VIth City Magistrate in Crl. M. P. No. 182 of 1965 on his file.

2. The relevant facts are as follows:

An authority duly empowered to act under the Payment of Wanes Act, passed an order on 26-10-1963 in file No. 2437/63 (Case No. 29/63) directing that the respondent, Pentala Kotayya, should pay an amount of Rs. 1,125 as retrenchment compensation to the petitioner, Bogavarapu Ammaya (an ex-employee of the petitioner herein) who was employed in a tobacco shop of which the petitioner, Pentala Kotayya was the owner. At the instance of the said authority, the learned VIth City Magistrate registered Crl. M. P. No. 182 of 1965 and issued a notice to the petitioner, Pentala Kotayya directing him to deposit the sum of Rs. 1,125 on or before 13-8-1965. Obviously, the learned Magistrate was proceeding under Section 15(5)(b) of the Payment of Wages Act (Central Act IV of 1936). The Petitioner, Pentala Kotayya appeared by an advocate before the learned Magistrate and filed a petition contending that the amount sought to be recovered from him was not an amount which could be collected under Section 15(5)(b) of the Act and that only wages could be collected by resort to that provision. On behalf of the petitioner, it was contended before the learned Magistrate that the matter involved a question of jurisdiction and that it should be decided either by the learned Magistrate himself or that a reference might be made to the High Court. The learned Magistrate issued a warrant on the same day for attachment of the movables in the residence of the said Pentala Kotayya. Thereupon the petitioner herein filed the present petition in this Court under Section 561A, Cr. P. C.

3. The correctness of the order passed by the authority dated 26-10-1963 is not challenged before me. No appeal was filed against thatorder as provided for in the Act. The only contention raised before me is that the amount concerned is not an amount which can he recovered under Section 15(5)(b) of the Act. The order of the authority shows that the amount is awarded as retrenchment compensation. It is not contended before me that the amount is not due as retrenchment compensation. I proceed on the basis that the amount of retrenchment compensation has been awarded by the authority and can be lawfully collected from the petitioner.

4. Section 15 of the Act runs as follows:

1. The State Government may........ appoint any Commissioner for Workmens Compensation or other officer ...... to be the authority to hear and decide for any specified area all claims arising out of . . . . delayin payment of the wages

2. Where contrary to the provisions of thisAct, any payment of wages has been delayed such person.... may apply to such authority for a direction under Sub-section (3).

(3) When any application under Sub-section (2) isentertained, the authority shall.....and after such further inquiry (if any) as may be necessary, mat direct the payment of thedelayed wages.

5. Any amount directed to be paid under this section may be recovered......

(b) if the authority is not a Magistrate by any Magistrate to whom the authority makes application in this behalf, as if it were a fine imposed by such Magistrate.'

5. Section 2 runs as follows:

'In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context.

(vi) 'Wages means all remuneration ..... expressed in terms of money or capable of being so expressed which would, if the terms of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled, he payable to a person employed and includes ........

(d) any sum which by reason of the termination of employment of the person employed is payable under any law, contract or instrument which provides for the payment of such sum but does not provide for the time within which the payment is to be made;'

6. Section 4 runs as follows:

'(1) Every person responsible for the payment of wages under Section 3 shall fix period.... in respect of which such wages shallbe payable.

(2) No wage period shall exceed one month.'

7. Section 5 runs as follows: 5 (2) where the employment of any person is terminated by or on behalf of the employer, the wages earned by him shall be paid before the expiry of the second working day from the day on which his employment is terminated.'

8. Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. (Act XIV of 1947) runs as follows:

'No workman employed in any industry who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer shall be retrenched by the employer until ..........

(b) the workmen has been paid, at the time of retrenchment compensation, which shall be equivalent to fifteen day's average pay for every completed year of service or any part thereof in excess of six months:'

The retrenchment compensation which had been awarded by the authority in his order dated 26-10-1963 is obviously an amount which conies under Section 25F(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act. Such compensation satisfied the conditions mentioned in Section 2(vi)(d) of the payment of Wages Art viz., that the sum is payable under a law by reason of termination of employment of the person employed and that law should be one which provides for the payment of such sum. Section 2(vi)(d) also requires that the law should be one which does not provide/for the time within which payment is to be made'. Section 25F(b) provides for the payment of the sum but also in a way provides for the lime within which the payment is to be made that is, not beyond the time of retrenchment.

9. In B.N. Elias and Co. (Private Ltd. v. Authority Under Payment of Wages Act), : (1961)IILLJ297Cal the question whether retrenchment compensation payable under Section 25F(b) will be covered by Section 2(vi)(d) of the Payment of WAGES Act, though the former contains a provision, us to the time of payment, came up for consideration The learned Judge. (D.N. Sinha, J) observed as follows:-- (at page 607).

'....... He (Mr. Ginwalla) argues that inorder to come within the definition of 'Wages' under the amendment, it must come within Clause (d), and any sum which is payable under any law by reason of the termination of employment would only come within the definition if the time within which it should be paid has not been provided. He points out that the time within which compensation under Section 25F(b) should be paid has been provided in the section itself, namely, at the time of retrenchment. In my opinion, it is too narrow a construction of the amended definition. Clause (d) in the amended definition of 'wages', is merely illustrative of what constitutes wages and is not exhaustive. The definition starts by saying that 'Wages' would mean all remuneration (whether bv way of salary, allowance or otherwise) expressed in terms of money or capable of being so expressed, which would, if the terms of employment, expressed or implied, were fulfilled, be payable to a person employed in respect of his employment As I have held, payment of compensation under Section 25F(b) must be taken to bean implied term of the contract and would thus come within the definition of 'wages' This result cannot be cut down by an illustration which follows, as is contained in Clause (d). Upon this point, a decision of the Supreme Court must be cited, Divisional Engineer G.I.P. Rly v. Mahadeo Raghoo (S) AIR 1055 SC 295

10. I respectfully agree with the Calcutta view that retrenchment compensation conies under Section 2(vi)(d). Beyond doubt, the amount has not been paid at the time of retrenchment. Therefore, the claim of the employee was a claim arising out of 'delay in payment of the wages' for the purpose of Section 16 of the Payment of Wages Act. Consequently, the order of the authority is the proper order coming under Section 15(3) of the Act. The result is, that the learned Magistrate is competent to proceed under Section 15(5)(b) for recovering the amount.

11. In the end, I dismiss this petition.


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