1. Kehar Singh petitions had obtained a decree from the Small Cause Court against Puran Singh respondent to Rs. 317A in 1957. In execution of the decree he obtained on order of attachment of bonus payable to Puran Singh by the Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co. Ltd. by which Puran Singh was employed as a labourer. Puran Singh objected under Section 47 Civil Procedure Code, that the bonus was not liable to attachment in execution under Section 60(1)(h) of the Civil Procedure Code which exempts from attachment the wages of labourers and domestic servants whether payable in money or kind. The executing Court upheld the judgment-debtor's objection and the decree-holder has filed this revision petition.
2. The learned Single Judge before whom the revision petition came up for hearing about a year ago referred it toa larger Bench because there appeared to be a conflict between the decisions of the Saurashtra High Court in Harji Malla v. Karsanji Vekhatchand, AIR 1954 Sau 19, and the Madras High Court in Chhinaswami v. Ponginanna Goundar, AIR 1957 Madras 40 on the question whether bonus payable to a labourer is included in the word 'wages' or not.
3. This supposed conflict seems to be more apparent than real, since in the Madras decision it was found as a matter of fact that the so-called bonus in that case was an ex gratia payment by the employer, and even in that case the principle was, recognised that whether bonus is paid by statute or by agreement it becomes part of an employee's wages. In the Saurashtra case it was held that the bonus paid to the labourers employed in a mill from time to time is part of their wages within the meaning of Section 60(1)(h) and the view expressed in Jivan Lal v. Ramtuji Bhaiji, AIR 1945 Bom 119, was followed.
4. It is hard to understand under the present circumstances how it can seriously be contended that bonus doesnot form part of a labouer's wages since any employeewhose business is making a profit is inevitably faced by ademand for bonus from his workmen, and if the demand isnot accepted the dispute will be referred to an IndustrialTribunal which will go into the state of the employer's business and award bonus according to a formula which hasnow been worked out by the Courts. Such an award isreferred to in the case of P. Nathmal Sanchethi v. Dasaratn,AIR 1959 Mysore 96, in which it has been held that whereit is clear from an award made in an industrial dispute thatthe bonus paid under the award was not intended as an exgratia payment but was intended to be an addition to theactual wages paid, it becomes a part of the wages andtherefore not attachable in execution of a decree, it haseven been held in Tirjugi Sitaram v. Badlu Prasad BheruPrashad',. AIR 1962 Madh Pra 361, that a gratuity paid to8 workman on the termination of his employment becomespart of his wages.
5. The definition of 'wages' in the Payment of wages Act includes bonus paid by agreement and I do not think that the principle has ever been seriously disputed that where bonus is paid as a result of an agreement between an employer and his employees it becomes part of the wages. It has been proved in the present case that such an agreement entered into between the Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co. Ltd. and its workmen In December 1956 actually exists. I have therefore no hesitation in holding that the bonus in dispute in the present case formed part of the wages or the judgment-debtor labourer and was therefore not liable to attachment in execution of the petitioner's decree. The revision petition must therefore be dismissed, but the parties will bear their own costs.
Tek Chand, J.
6. I agree.