1. The respondent who holds a decree against the petitioner sought to attach the bonus amount due to him. He is a worker in the employ of the Madurai Mills Co. Ltd., Vikramasingapuram. The attachment was objected to on the ground that bonus was part of the wages and was not liable to attachment under Section 60, Civil P. C. The Court below rejected the objection in the ground that the Bonus Ordinance, 1965, had no retrospective effect. It came into force on 29th May 1965, while the attachment had been made on 9th April 1965,
2. It seems to me that the Court below Is not correct. The Ordinance has been replaced by the Payment of Bonus Act, 3965 which received the assent of the President on 25th September 1965, and was published in the Gazette of India (Extraordinary) on 25th September 1965. The Act applies to every establishment in which twenty or more persons are employed on any day during an accounting year. The Company in which the petitioner worked was such an establishment. Section 1(4) states that except as otherwise provided elsewhere in the Act, its provisions would in relation to a factory or other establishment to which the Act applied have effect in respect of the accounting year commencing on any day in the year 1964 and in respect of every subsequent accounting year. 'Accounting year' also is denned to mean, in relation to a company, the period in respect of which any profit and loss account of the company laid before it in annual general meeting was made up. It is not clear when the profit and loss account of the company was laid before the annual general meeting of the company in this case. But what matters is the period in respect of which such accounts are placed before the annual General meeting. It seems to me therefore, that Section 1(4) will enable the provisions of the Act to operate in respect of the accounting year commencing on any day in the year 1964 and in respect of every subsequent year. To that extent, the Act would have retroactive effect.
3. Quite apart from that, I am of the view that bonus, having regard to recent developments in the law relating to labour relationship, would be included in wages. Payment of bonus is a method of payment of wages. No doubt, payment of bonus is conditional upon payment of wages. But once bonus is paid, it has the true attribute of wages (See P. Nathmal v. Dhasarath, AIR 1959 Mys 96).
4. On that view, the petition is allowed with no costs.