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Laxman Tulsiram Vs. Dayalal Meghji and Co. Badashahi Bidi Works Through Its Manager and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Petn. No. 550 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1967MP155; [1967(15)FLR454]; (1968)ILLJ139MP
ActsIndustrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 33C(1) and 33C(2); Madhya Pradesh Minimum Wages Fixation Act
AppellantLaxman Tulsiram
RespondentDayalal Meghji and Co. Badashahi Bidi Works Through Its Manager and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS.G. Kukde, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN.S. Kale, Adv. for Respondent No. 1
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredC.K. Iyapunny v. R. N. Kulkarni
Excerpt:
- - 2. section 33c of the act of 1947 is as follows- 33-c (1). where any money is due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of chapter v-a, the workman may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, make an application to the appropriate government for the recovery of the money due to him, and if the appropriate government is satisfied that any money is so due, it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the collector who shall proceed to recover the same in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue. minimum wages fixation act, 1962, is clearly not a claim under any settlement or an award or under the provisions of chapter v-a of the 1947 act......appearing for the petitioner, that the applicant could have applied under section 16 of the payment of wages act, 1936, within the prescribed time, to the authority under that act for a direction to the employer to pay him the aforesaid difference in wages. he, however, urged, on the authority of central bank of india ltd. v. rajagopalan, air 1964 sc 743 and bombay gas co. ltd v. gopal bhiva. air 1964 sc 762, that a workman could apply to the labour court for recovery of the wages due to him under section 33c(2) of the industrial disputes act, 1947, and that the remedy given to him under section 33c(2) was in addition to the remedy available under section 16 of the payment of wages act, 1936. 3. we are unable to accede to this contention. it will be seen that the claims, which are.....
Judgment:

Dixit, C.J.

1. The petitioner's application under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for recovery from the employer, namely, the respondent No. 1, M/s Dayalal Meghji and Co., of the difference in wages actually paid to him for the period from 3rd September 1960 to 22nd June 1961 and the wages payable to him under the Madhya Pradesh Minimum Wages Fixation Act, 1962, has been rejected by the Labour Court, Raipur, on the ground that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the application. The petitioner now seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing this determination of the Labour Court.

2. Section 33C of the Act of 1947 is as follows-

'33-C (1). Where any money is due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A, the workman may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, make an application to the appropriate Government for the recovery of the money due to him, and if the appropriate Government is satisfied that any money is so due, it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the Collector who shall proceed to recover the same in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.

2. Where any workman is entitled to receive from the employer any benefit which is capable of being computed in terms of money, the amount at which such benefit should be computed may, subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, be determined by such Labour Court as may be specified in this behalf by the appropriate Government, and the amount so determined may be recovered as provided for in Sub-section (1).

3. xx xx xx xx It was disputed by Shri Kukday, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, that the applicant could have applied under Section 16 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, within the prescribed time, to the Authority under that Act for a direction to the employer to pay him the aforesaid difference in wages. He, however, urged, on the authority of Central Bank of India Ltd. v. Rajagopalan, AIR 1964 SC 743 and Bombay Gas Co. Ltd v. Gopal Bhiva. AIR 1964 SC 762, that a workman could apply to the Labour Court for recovery of the wages due to him under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and that the remedy given to him under Section 33C(2) was in addition to the remedy available under Section 16 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.

3. We are unable to accede to this contention. It will be seen that the claims, which are dealt with by Sub-section (1) of Section 33C, are claims referable to those 'under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A' of the Act. A claim for payment of the difference in wages actually paid to a workman and payable to him under the M. P. Minimum Wages Fixation Act, 1962, is clearly not a claim under any settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A of the 1947 Act. Sub-section (2) of Section 33C is concerned with the computation in terms of money of any benefit, whether monetary or non-monetary, to which a workman may be entitled and the recovery of the amount determined of the benefit

The scope of this sub-section has been pointed out by the Supreme Court in Punjab National Bank Ltd. v. K. L. Kharbanda, AIR 1963 SC 487 at p. 489 by making the following observations.

'Further, if we compare Sub-section (1) with Sub-section (2) of this section, it will appear that Sub-section (1) applies to cases where any money is due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A and that contemplates that the amount is already computed or calculated or at any rate there can be no dispute about the computation or calculation, while Sub-section (2) applies to cases where though the monetary benefit has been conferred on a workman under an award, it has not been calculated or computed in the award itself, and there is dispute as to its calculation or computation. It cannot, therefore, be said looking to the words used in Sub-section (2) that it only applies to cases of non-monetary benefit which has to be converted in terms of money. It appears to us that it can also apply to monetary benefits to which a workman may be entitled which have not been calculated or computed, say, for example in an award and about their calculation or computation there is dispute between the workman and the employer.

In AIR 1964 SC 748, the Supreme Court has no doubt pointed out that the scope of Section 33C(2) is not limited by the use of the words 'under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A' and is thus wider than that of Section 38C(1); that the three categories of claims mentioned in Section 33C(1) no doubt fall under Section 33C(2); but 'it is possible that claims not based on settlements, awards or made under the provisions of Chapter V-A, may also be competent under Section 33C(2)'

We are unable, however, to read the observations of the Supreme Court in the case of Central Bank of India, AIR 1964 SC 748 (supra) suggesting the possibility of claims other than those under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A as including a claim which could be made under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. The illustrations given in the Supreme Court's decision itself of the claims that might fall under Section 33C(2) abundantly indicate that the claims which would be competent under Section 33C(2) before a Labour Court, besides the claims under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter V-A, are those which would fall under the Act of 1947 itself.

The observation of the Supreme Court in the case of Central Bank of India, AIR 1964 SC 748 (supra) with regard to the wide scope of Section 33C(2) must be read so as to make it consistent with the observations of the Supreme Court in Shri Ambica Mills Co. Ltd. v. S. B. Bhatt, AIR 1961 SC 970. In that case, pointing out the scope of the jurisdiction of the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Supreme Court said-

'Section 15 confers jurisdiction on the authority appointed under the said section to hear and decide for any specified area claims arising out of deductions from wages, or delay in payment of wages, of persons employed or paid in that area. It is thus clear that the only claims which can be entertained by the authority are claims arising out of deductions or delay made in payment of wages. 'The jurisdiction thus conferred on the authority to deal with these two categories of claims is exclusive, for Section 24 of the Act provides that matters which lie within the jurisdiction of the authority are excluded from the jurisdiction of ordinary civil Court.'' (Underlining (here into ' ') is ours).

In the face of these observations of the Supreme Court in the case of Shri Ambica Mills Co., AIR 1961 SC 970 (supra) there is no justification whatsoever for reading the observations in the case of Central Bank of India, AIR 1964 SC 743 as meaning that a claim which could have been made under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, could also be made under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. In our opinion, the decision of the Supreme Court in AIR 1961 SC 970 (supra) concludes the question of the competency of the Labour Court to entertain the application under Section 38C(2) of theIndustrial Disputes Act, 1947, filed by the petitioner for recovery of the difference in wages claimed by him.

4. The matter is also concluded by the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Surajmal v. Authority, Payment of Wages Act, Ujjain, 1964 MPLJ 470: (AIR 1964 Madh Pra 312). That was a case where the question arose whether the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act could entertain an application under Section 15 of that Act for a direction to the employer to pay to its workers compensation under Section 25FF of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. While, holding that the Authority had no jurisdiction to entertain the application, it was observed by this Court that-

'Both the Industrial Disputes Act and the Payment of Wages Act are special Acts. The first Act relates to the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes and provides for matters dealt with by various provisions of that Act. The Payment of Wages Act is also a special Act because it only regulates the payment of wages to a certain class of persons employed in any industry and its main purpose is to determine all claims of workmen arising out of deductions from their wages or delay in their payment. The provisions of both these Acts cannot be construed in a manner curtailing the operation of one Act by the other. That construction of Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act and Sections 2(vi)(d) and 16 of the Payment of Wages Act must be adopted which would avoid repugnancy or redundancy and which gives effect to both the enactments.'

In our opinion, there is no indication whatsoever, either in Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act or in Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act or in the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Central Bank of India, AIR 1964 SC 743 (supra), that the scope of Section 83C(2) is wide enough to include claims under Sections 2(vi) and 15 of the Payment of Wages Act.

5. The decision of the Supreme Court in AIR 1964 SC 762, cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner, is of no assistance to the applicant. In that case, the question that was considered was whether there was any period of limitation for an application under Section 38C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. While holding that there was no period of limitation, the Supreme Court said that the application of Article 181 of the Limitation Act to applications under Section 33C(2) was not Justified and the fact that for recovery of wages limitation has been prescribed by the Payment of Wages Act would also not justly the introduction of considerations of limitation in regard to proceedings taken under Section 38C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act.

In that case, certain workmen had applied to the Labour Court under Section 88-C (2) for computing the benefit in terms of money to which they said they were entitled under an award and for payment of the same to them, and the Supreme Court had no occasion to consider whether the jurisdiction of the Authority under Section 16 of the Payment of Wages Act was exclusive. The observation of the Supreme Court in the case of Bombay Gas Co., AIR 1964 SC 752 (supra) that the fact that for recovery of wages limitation has been prescribed by the Payment of Wages Act did not justify the introduction of considerations of limitation in regard to proceedings under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, does not afford any justification whatsoever for holding that a claim which can be made under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act, can also be made under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act. Learned counsel also referred us to the decision of the Bombay High Court in C.K. Iyapunny v. R. N. Kulkarni, AIR 1964 Bom 188. That decision has no bearing here:

6. For all these reasons, our conclusion is that the Labour Court was right in holding that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the petitioner's application under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for recovery of the difference in wages actually paid to himfor the period from 3rd September 1960 to 22nd June 1961 and the wages payable to him under the M. P. Minimum Wages Fixation Act, 1962. The result is that this petition is dismissed with costs of the respondent No. 1. Counsel's fee is fixed at Rs. 100. The outstanding amount of security deposit, if any after deduction of costs, shall be refunded tothe petitioner.


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