Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

In 2022 SCC Volume 2 Part 4, read a very interesting decision, wherein a death row convict subjected a 5-year-old girl to rape, killed her by strangulation, and then disposed of her body, tied in a gunny bag, into a stream and the 3-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court finding hope for reformation and rehabilitation commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment. [Irappa Siddappa Murgannavar v. State of Karnataka, (2022) 2 SCC 801]

Short Notes: 6


Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 (5 of 2007) — S. 3 provisos 2(a) & (b) and Ss. 3(i), (ii) & (iii) and Ss. 2(i-a) & (i-b) (as amended in 2012): Manner of interpretation and applicability of special provisions of amended S. 3 provisos 2(a) & (b) excluding general provisions of Ss. 3(i), (ii) & (iii), explained in detail. Amended S. 3 proviso 2 is applicable to University located in State of Manipur which is one of the States of “Specified North-Eastern Region” in terms of S. 2(ia). S. 3 provisos 2(a) & (b) is applicable to “Specified North-Eastern Region” in S. 2(i-a) and not limited only to the tribal States covered by the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. This became possible after the amendment of S. 3 and insertion of S. 3 provisos 2(a) & (b) by the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Amendment Act, 2012 (Amendment Act). [Kshetrimayum Maheshkumar Singh v. Manipur University, (2022) 2 SCC 704]

Re S. 3 provisos 2(a) & (b) and Ss. 3(i), (ii) & (iii) and Ss. 2(i-a) & (i-b) (as amended in 2012), Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 (5 of 2007) manner of interpretation and applicability of special provisions of amended S. 3 provisos 2(a) & (b) excluding general provisions of Ss. 3(i), (ii) & (iii), explained in detail. [Kshetrimayum Maheshkumar Singh v. Manipur University, (2022) 2 SCC 704]

Constitution of India — Sch. X Paras 2(1)(a) and (2) r/w Art. 191(2): Judicial interference with disqualification order issued under by Speaker under the provision, when permissible and warranted, explained. [Kshetrimayum Biren Singh v. Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly, (2022) 2 SCC 759]

Re Sch. X Paras 2(1)(a) and (2) r/w Art. 191(2), Constitution of India judicial interference with disqualification order issued under by Speaker under the provision, when permissible and warranted, explained. [Kshetrimayum Biren Singh v. Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly, (2022) 2 SCC 759]

Education Law — Professional Colleges/Education — Medical and Dental Colleges — Reservation of seats/Quota/Exemption/Priority in Medical/Dental Institutions — Generally —Postgraduate/Superspeciality courses: State Government providing reservation for in-service doctors in superspeciality courses in final stages of admission for the academic year 2020-2021, held, cannot be permitted. [Prerit Sharma v. Bilu B.S., (2022) 2 SCC 751]

State Government providing reservation for in-service doctors in superspeciality courses in final stages of admission for the academic year 2020-2021 cannot be permitted. [Prerit Sharma v. Bilu B.S., (2022) 2 SCC 751]

Electricity Act, 2003 — S. 9 and S. 2(15) r/w S. 42(4) — Electricity distribution system — Wheeling charges for use of distribution system: Additional surcharge on wheeling charges under S. 42(4), if consumer does not receive supply of electricity from the distribution licensee but uses the system, is not applicable to captive consumers. Ordinary consumers under S. 2(15) to whom S. 42(4) is applicable, clarified. Rationale why such additional surcharge is justified, explained. Rights of captive consumers distinguished from ordinary consumers. Captive consumers, held, do not have an obligation to pay additional surcharge under S. 42(4) even if they are not receiving electricity from the distribution licensee. [Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. v. JSW Steel Ltd., (2022) 2 SCC 742]

Re S. 9 and S. 2(15) r/w S. 42(4), Electricity Act, 2003 qua wheeling charges for use of distribution system, captive consumers, do not have an obligation to pay additional surcharge under S. 42(4) even if they are not receiving electricity from distribution licensee. [Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. v. JSW Steel Ltd., (2022) 2 SCC 742]

Energy, Power and Electricity — Electricity — Tariff — Exemption provision: Repealing statute withdrawing exemption provided in repealed statute in simple, clear and unambiguous language, said exemption provision, held, needs to be interpreted literally and applied rigorously and strictly. Recourse cannot be had to any other principle of interpretation, when the words are clear and unambiguous. Thus, held, charitable educational institutions registered under the provisions of the Societies Registration Act and/or under the Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, are not entitled to any exemption from levy/payment of electricity duty on or after 8-8-2016 i.e. from the date on which Maharashtra Electricity Duty Act, 2016 (2016 Act) came into effect. [State of Maharashtra v. Shri Vile Parle Kelvani Mandal, (2022) 2 SCC 725]

Repealing statute withdrawing exemption provided in repealed statute in simple, clear and unambiguous language, said exemption provision needs to be interpreted literally and applied rigorously and strictly. Recourse cannot be had to any other principle of interpretation, when words are clear and unambiguous. [State of Maharashtra v. Shri Vile Parle Kelvani Mandal, (2022) 2 SCC 725]

Labour Law — Domestic/Departmental Enquiry — Acquittal in criminal proceedings — Effect: Principles reiterated regarding invocation of cl. (1)(g) of Sch. IV of the MRTU & PULP Act, 1971, for setting aside dismissal order. Applicability of said cl. (1)(g), also explained. [Maharashtra SRTC v. Dilip Uttam Jayabhay, (2022) 2 SCC 696]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 173 — Appeal: Growing number of appeals by claimants, insurers and vehicle owners against award passed by Tribunal are resulting in large pendency of appeals before various High Courts. Idea of “Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals” mooted and detailed suggestions given. [Rasmita Biswal v. National Insurance Co. Ltd., (2022) 2 SCC 767]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302, 376, 364, 366-A and 201 — Rape and murder of 5 yr old girl by strangulation: Low age of victim cannot be considered as only or sufficient factor by Supreme Court for imposing death sentence. Sentences awarded to appellant under Ss. 376, 364, 366-A and 201 IPC, upheld. However, considering mitigating circumstances, death sentence awarded under S. 302, is commuted to life imprisonment with stipulation that appellant shall not be entitled to premature release/remission before undergoing actual imprisonment of 30 yrs. Further held, further sentences awarded shall run concurrently and not consecutively. [Irappa Siddappa Murgannavar v. State of Karnataka, (2022) 2 SCC 801]

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 — Ss. 24(1)(a), 25(1) and 114(1) & (2) — Acquisition proceedings: Saving of provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and retrospectivity of provisions of the 2013 Act, explained in detail. [Maharashtra Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corpn. v. Mahesh, (2022) 2 SCC 772]

Re Ss. 24(1)(a), 25(1) and 114(1) & (2), Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 saving of provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and retrospectivity of provisions of the 2013 Act, explained in detail. [Maharashtra Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corpn. v. Mahesh, (2022) 2 SCC 772]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian*, JJ has held that an ad hoc payment made to the workers pursuant to the interim orders passed by this Court in a previous round of litigation does not form part of “wages” within the meaning of the expression under Section 2(s) of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, for the purpose of calculating gratuity.

Factual Background

The scales of pay of the employees of public sector undertakings were revised w.e.f. 01.01.1992.

When the benefit of such revision was not made available to the employees of Fertiliser Corporation of India Limited and Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation Limited, their employees moved writ petitions in various High Courts, in the year 1996.

The writ petitions pending on the file of various High Courts were transferred to the Supreme Court.

By an interim order dated 18.08.2000, the Supreme Court directed an ad hoc monthly payment of Rs.1500/¬, Rs.1000/-, Rs.750/¬ and Rs.500/¬, respectively to four different categories of employees, as an interim measure, subject to the final outcome of the writ petitions which stood transferred to this Court.

In the final order, the Supreme Court held that economic viability or the financial capacity of the employer is an important factor which cannot be ignored while fixing the wage structure and that the materials on record clearly revealed that both these companies were suffering heavy losses for several years. It also made it clear that what was paid was only ad hoc.

Once the curtain was finally drawn on their very employment, the Controlling Authority started passing orders in the applications filed by the employees individually, treating the ad hoc payment as part of the wages.

The Management of these companies moved an application before the Supreme Court for clarification/modification of the order. On 01.05.2008, the Supreme Court disposed of the interim application by just observing that when the final order is passed, the interim order automatically comes to an end.

Analysis

Section 2(s) of the Act defines wages, as follows:-

“wages” means all emoluments which are earned by an employee while on duty or on leave in accordance with the terms and conditions of his employments and which are paid or are payable to him in cash and includes dearness allowance but does not include any bonus, commission, house rent allowance, overtime wages and any other allowance.”

The Court explained that the definition of the expression is in 3 parts,

  • the first part indicating the meaning of the expression,
  • the second part indicating what is included therein and
  • the third part indicating what is not included therein.

In the first part of the definition, the emphasis is on what is earned by the employee “in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment”.

Hence, irrespective of whether what was earned has been paid or remained payable, the same is included in the definition, provided it is in accordance with the terms and conditions of his employment.

The Court also took note of the ruling in Straw Board Manufacturing Co. Ltd. v. Workmen, (1977) 2 SCC 329, wherein it was held that:

“We clarify that wages will mean and included basic wages and Dearness Allowance and nothing else”.

The Court also observed that it is a fundamental principle of law that a party who is in enjoyment of an interim order, is bound to lose the benefit of such interim order when the ultimate outcome of the case goes against him.

“Merely because of the fortuitous circumstance of the Voluntary Separation Scheme coming into effect before the transferred cases were finally dismissed by this Court by an order dated 25.04.2003, creating an illusion as though the last drawn pay included this  ad hoc  payment, it is not possible to go against the fundamental rule that the benefits of an interim order would automatically go when the party who secured it, failed in the final stage.”

Keeping in mind the above definition, if we go back to historical facts, it would be clear that the employees initiated the first round of litigation before various High Courts, for the grant of the benefit of revision of pay scales, way back in the year 1996, on the ground that the employees of other PSUs have been granted revision on par with the Government servants. It will thus be clear that what was claimed in the first round of litigation was not what was payable in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment. Therefore, this Court was clear in its interim order dated 18.08.2000 as to how 1the ad hoc payment ordered there under should be treated. Even in the final order, this Court made it clear that what was paid was only ad hoc.

The Court, hence, held that the ad hoc payment made pursuant to the interim orders will not form part of the wages. However, in view of the efflux of time and taking into account the fact that few employees are now no more, the Court directed the Management not to effect any recovery, if payment has already been made to any of the respondents or their families.

[Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd. v. Rajesh Chandra Srivastava, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 417, decided on 07.04.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice V. Ramasubramanian

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the case where it was argued before the Court that the Industrial Disputes (Rajasthan Amendment) Act, 1958 which received the President’s assent on August 12, 1958 stands eclipsed after the enactment of the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970, the bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh, JJ has dismissed the SLP after observing that the issue must first be raised before the Industrial Tribunal or the High Court.

In terms of the amendment made, the definition of Section 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 substituted the words “employed in any industry” with the words “by an employer or by a contractor in relation to the execution of his contracts with such employer”. The object behind doing so appeared to be to amend the definition to include even the employees who were employed through contractors under the category of ‘Workman’ within the purview of the ID Act.

It was argued before the Supreme Court that under Article 254(2) of the Constitution of India the Presidential assent has to be with regard to the law ‘already enacted’ by the Parliament or the ‘existing law’. It does not contemplate that if a Presidential assent has been taken, it shall override all other laws which would be enacted in future by the Parliament.

The issue sought to be raised was whether the contract labourers can be directed by the Labour Court to be absorbed/regularized in the main cadre in the absence of sanctioned posts/ in absence of finding of unfair labour practice.

The Court, however, observed that,

“No doubt this is an aspect which deserves to be examined and we are informed that many cases are being dealt with in the absence of this consideration but then it is for the petitioners to raise this issue before the competent forum and then this Court would have the benefit of consideration of the relevant judgment dealing with this aspect. It would not be appropriate to examine this issue as the first Court itself, more so as it deals with the aspect of State enactment and interplay with a central enactment.”

The Court, hence, dismissed the SLP leaving the question of law open.

[State of Rajasthan v. Mahesh, Special Leave to Appeal (C) No.12376/2019, order dated 22.03.2022]


Counsels

For Petitioners: Vidhan Vyas, Adv., Pragati Neekhra, AOR. Manish Singhvi, Sr. Adv., Arpit Parkash, Adv., Milind Kumar, AOR

For Respondent(s): Charu Mathur, AOR

Kerala High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: Commenting on the history of militant trade unionism in the State of Kerala Devan Ramachandran, J. called it an impediment to emergence of State of Kerala an investor-friendly destination. The Bench remarked,

“The past experience shows that the headload workers would approach a business concern or an industry and demand that they be engaged in the loading and unloading works; and should they face any resistance, violence and intimidation could be the result.” 

Militant Trade Unionism

The Bench was dealing with the issue of misuse of the Headload Workers Act which contains a specific scheme, by which a headload worker can seek employment; and if any employer illegally refuses to engage headload works, the latter can approach the Head Load Workers Welfare Fund Board and seek redressal as per law. However this was not the manner in which normally headload workers or Unions ensure that they get employment and they rather use force or unleash intimidation and thus force the employer to achieve to their demands.

In the instant case the allegation was that the headload workers had obstructed the vehicles of the petitioner in spite of the interim orders granted to the petitioner, similarly, members of a particular pool of headload workers trespassed and assaulted the workers and damaged properties in another case.

Gawking Wages

Though, the Government had issued circulars banning the demand of “gawking wages”, but they did not deal with militant trade unionism, which was exhibited in cases where an employer rightly or wrongly refuses to engage a headload worker. Ironically, the unions maintained that they had not sought for any Gawking charges (demand for money without being employed), but there was an attempt to justify obstructionist and violent acts to gain employment by relying on the statutory scheme under the Headload Workers Act.

Steps Taken by the State

To tackle the issue at hand the State had come up with following suggestions:

  1. To set up Call Center in the office of the Labour Commissioner in the State to take immediate action on the issues related to unlawful demand of wages by the Head Load Workers including Nokkukooli.
  2. In case of any serious irregularities on the part of the workers, action would be taken including cancellation of the registration card of the Head Load Workers as per Section 26A (4) of the Kerala Headload Workers Act.
  3. In addition, complaints of harassment, intimidation or assault by the employer to be referred to the police to take appropriate legal action.
  4. Boards displaying the loading and unloading charges had been set up at major intersections to bring to the notice of the public regarding the loading and unloading rates

Analysis and Suggestions

Opining that if the provisions of the Headload Workers Act are implemented properly, then the impression of Kerala having a militant trade unionism would vanish without much of a delay, as in the event of any employer refusing to engage a headload worker, the consequences could not be violence but legal proceedings initiated before the Board, which will then lead to the statutory remedies under the Act, the Bench remarked,

“Government must try to rectify; by taking the Trade Unions into confidence and convincing them that violence is not the answer to every ill in society, particularly in a civilized nation like ours.”

The Bench stated that the real remedy in ensuring that entrepreneurs and industries are not intimidated from coming and operating in Kerala is by ensuring that there is a peaceful atmosphere in the realm of Labour and employment scenario; and to a larger extent, this will be possible only if it is ensured that the headload workers and their Unions act totally within the confines of the Headload Workers Act, Rules and such other applicable Statutes. Emphasising on the urgency to address the issue, the Bench expressed,

“I do not think that Kerala can afford to wait any further, because otherwise, the inveterate tendencies would become difficult to be rooted out and the situations will only deteriorate as we go along.”

Noticing the gravity of the situation the Bench, though appreciated measures taken by the government, it further emphasised over the need for stringent steps to drive home the point that no headload workers or their Unions can take law into their own hands or unleash violence or such other conduct even if they are denied employment by an employer illegally; and that in such event, they must certainly engage the Board and seek redressal by law, otherwise, the Court remarked,

“Every time there is a violent incident, it will be treated only as a routine law and order issue and would then be consigned to the litigative chapters, as being as one among the many.”

Decision

As far as Gawking charges (Nokku kooli) were concerned, the Court declared that any such demand by any person, headload worker, Union was illegal and unlawful; and consequentially directed the competent Station House Officers of the area concerned, to take stringent and strict action – including under the various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, depending upon the nature of the allegations – thus ensuring that the perpetrators were brought to book without any lenience – industry.

While with regard to specific facts of the case, the Bench directed the petitioner not to engage any person from outside the pool maintained by the Board for loading and unloading work since, the area in question was admittedly covered by a Scheme under the Headload Workers Act. The headload worker or Union were directed to bring the contrary actions of the petitioner to the notice of the Board, who was directed to take necessary action in terms of law. [T.K.Sundaresan v. District Police Chief, WP(C) NO. 17866 of 2021(G), decided on 07-10-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

Counsels for the Petitioners: Manoj Ramaswamy, Jolima George, Jisha Sasi, C.B.Sabeela and Chinnu Rose Mary Thomas

Counsels for the Respondents: Government Pleader

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka*, JJ., held that Irrigation Department was not a factory within the meaning of Factories Act, 1948 as there was no indulgence in manufacturing process in the Department. The Bench expressed,

“Even assuming that some of the employees may be doing the work of pumping of water, that is not sufficient to hold that Irrigation Department of the first appellant is carrying on manufacturing process.”

Factual Contours

Originally, the State had challenged the award made by the Labour Court by which the State was directed to reinstate the respondent in Rajghat Canal Project of the Irrigation Department. The respondent was initially appointed as a daily wage employee on the post of Helper in the Irrigation Department of the first appellant. However, his employment was terminated again after reinstating him in the year 2004.

Findings of Courts Below

The Labour Court held that Chapter VB of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 was applicable to the Irrigation Department and as compliance with section 25N of the ID Act was not made, the respondent was entitled to reinstatement.

Observing that Irrigation Department is responsible for creation and maintenance of irrigation potential through construction of Water Resources Department, it also looks after the calamity management work and is involve in pumping water and sewage, the High Court held that the Department was governed by section 2(k)(ii) of the Factories Act as the  Irrigation Department was also involved in the activity of pumping of water and sewage, i.e. manufacturing process as defined under the said section.

Irrigation Department whether Industrial Establishment or not?

The State contended that Irrigation Department was not an Industrial Establishment within the meaning of Section 25L of the ID Act and Chapter VB would have no application. The State argued, though the Irrigation Department might have more than hundred workers, it was not a factory within the meaning Section 2(m) of the Factories Act, 1948 as it was not carrying on manufacturing process.

Analysis and Findings

Though there was no dispute that the Irrigation Department satisfied the test of having not less than hundred workmen employed on an average; however, the question before the Court was whether the Irrigation Department was an Industrial Establishment as defined in Section 25L of ID Act.

Section 25L of the ID Act reads as:

“(a) “industrial establishment” means—

 (i) a factory as defined in clause (m) of section 2 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948);”

It was the case of the respondent that the Irrigation Department of the first appellant was an Industrial Establishment as it was a Factory as defined in Section 2(m) (ii) of the Factories Act, which states, a Factory is:

“ (ii) whereon twenty or more workers are working, or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on without the aid of power, or is ordinarily so carried on…”

However, as the definition suggested, an establishment cannot be termed as a factory unless it is carrying on manufacturing process. The manufacturing process is defined under Section 2(k)(ii) of the Factories Act, which reads thus:

“‘Manufacturing process’ means any process for— (ii) pumping oil, water, sewage or any other substance;”

In the above backdrop, the Bench was of the view that even assuming that some of the employees may be doing the work of pumping of water, that was not sufficient to hold that Irrigation Department of the first appellant was carrying on manufacturing process. The Bench emphasised,

“Overall activities and functions of the Irrigation Department would have to be considered while deciding the question whether it is carrying on manufacturing activities.”

The Bench added,

 “Few employees of the Irrigation Department out of several may be incidentally operating pumps. But the test is what are the predominant functions and activities of the said Department.

Verdict

The Bench held that even if the activity of operation of pumps was carried on by few employees, the Irrigation department did not carry on manufacturing process, hence, it was not a factory within the meaning of clause (m) of section 2 of the Factories Act. Accordingly, the Bench rejected the reasoning of the High Court that the Irrigation Department was an Industrial Establishment within the meaning of Section 25L and Chapter VB would have application in the case.

Hence, the appeal was allowed. The impugned judgments and orders were set aside and the termination of employment of the respondent was held to be legal and valid.

[State of M.P. v. Somdutt Sharma, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 829, decided on 29-09-2021]

_________________________________________________________________________________

Report by: Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 

_________________________________________________________________________________

Appearance by:

For the State of M.P.: Mukul Singh, Deputy Advocate General

For the Respondent: Prashant Shukla, Advocate


*Judgment by: Justice Abhay S. Oka

 

Jharkhand High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi, J., held that Section 106 of the Factories Act is mandatory in nature and the Courts have no power to entertain the issue once the period prescribed therein has ended.

The petitioners had filed this petition for quashing the order passed in a revision petition filed by the petitioners had been dismissed. The further prayer was made for quashing entire criminal proceeding initiated as against the petitioners.

Background

A prosecution report was filed by the opposite party arraying the petitioners as accused with a prayer to take cognizance against them for allegedly committing an offence in terms of Section 92 of the Factories Act for violation of Rules 55(A )(2) and 56(A) of the Bihar (now Jharkhand) Factories Rules, 1950. The petitioners had been arrayed in their capacity as an occupier and Manager respectively of M/s. Tata Steel Ltd.

The complaint had been lodged in connection with an accident which took place on 19-06-2012 at 06:20 p.m. at G&H Blast Furnace Plavourize Coal bin/hopper where it was alleged that at the time of installation of 600 Kg mouthpiece the upper portion of chain block was broken due to which Birju Prasad, Fitter who was standing under it was crushed by the said mouthpiece and had sustained grievous injuries. The injured workman was carried to the hospital but died during the course of treatment. It had been alleged that the accident took place due to violation of Rule 55(A)(2) and 56(A) for which the petitioners were responsible.

Stand taken by the Petitioners

The petitioners contended that Section 106 of the Factories Act prescribes the period of limitation for three months for filing the complaint, under Section 92 of the Factories Act from the date of occurrence. Evidently, the date of occurrence was 19-06-2012 and the opposite party 2 inspected the place of occurrence on 20-06-2012 and subsequently, required information was furnished in statutory Form 17A by the company.

Hence, the petitioners contended that the knowledge was there to the Inspector on 19-06-2012 itself and the complaint was filed on 20-09-2012. It was further submitted the complaint had been filed after 90 days which was against the mandatory provision made under Section 106 of the Factories Act. It was also submitted that there was no provision of condonation of delay.

For ready reference, Section 106 of the Factories Act reads as under:-

“106. Limitation of prosecutions.—No Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act unless complaint thereof is made within three months of the date on which the alleged commission of the offence came to the knowledge of an Inspector…”

Findings and Conclusion

On perusal of Section 106 of the Factories Act, the Bench stated that the law with regard to filing of the complaint under the Factories Act within a period of three months from the date of commission of the offence or from the date of knowledge of the occurrence is crystal clear. Noticeably, it was in the knowledge of the Inspector that the occurrence took place on 19-06-2012 and the complaint was admittedly filed on 20-09-2012 and the cognizance under Section 92 of the Factories Act was taken against the petitioners even though there is no provision of condonation of delay.

Hence, the Bench opined that the revisional court’s finding about the knowledge of date of filing of the report was erroneous as Section 106 clearly speaks that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence unless complaint is made within three months of the date on which the alleged commission of the offence came to the knowledge of an Inspector. Similarly, the Court was of the view that the Judicial Magistrate by taking cognizance had filled up the lines and section and had failed to apply judicial mind as the complaint petition itself was time barred under Section 106 of the Factories Act.

In view of the aforesaid, the entire criminal proceedings including the revision order were quashed. [Hemant Madhusudan Nerurkar v. State of Jharkhand, 2021 SCC OnLine Jhar 624, decided on 15-09-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance:

For the Petitioners: Indrajit Sinha, Advocate

For the Opposite Party-State: Veervijay Pradhan, A.P.P.

Legislation Updates

The brief discusses minimum wages of Federal and State Level of USA.

 

USA Minimum Wage 2021

States

2021

Federal $7.25
Alaska $10.34
Arizona $ 12.15
Arkansas $11.00
California $13.00 (employer with 25 employees or less)
$14.00 (employer with 26 employee or more)
Connecticut $12.00 (September 1, 2020)
$13.00 (August 1, 2021)
Colorado $12.32
Delaware $9.25
District of Colombia $15
Florida $8.65
Georgia $5.15
Note: Georgia’s law sets minimum wage as $5.15 per hour. However, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 still applies to most jobs. But those that are not covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act may pay the lower rate.
Hawaii $10.10
Idaho $7.25
Illinois $11.00 (January 1, 2021)
Indiana $ 7.25
Iowa $7.25
Kansas $7.25
Kentucky $7.25
Louisiana No state law governing minimum wage.
Federal Law Minimum wage applicable
$7.25
Maine $12.15
Maryland $11.75 ( non-exempt Maryland workers who work for employers with more than 14 employees)
$11.60 ( non-exempt Maryland workers who work for employers with 14 or fewer employees)
Massachusetts $13.50
Michigan $9.65
Minnesota $10.08 (Large employer)
$ 8.21 (small employer)
Mississippi No state law governing minimum wage.
Federal Law Minimum wage applicable
$7.25
Missouri $10.30
Montana $8.75
Nebraska $9.00
Nevada $8.75 (for employees with employer-offered qualifying health benefits)
$9.75 ( for all other employees)
New Hampshire $7.25
New Jersey $12.00
New Mexico $10.50
New York $14.00(employer in Long Island & Westchester)
$12.50 (remainder of new York state workers)
$15.00 (New York City- Small employer)
$15.00 (New York City- Big employer, i.e. every employer with 11 or more employees)
North Carolina $7.25
North Dakota $7.25
Ohio $8.80
Oklahoma $7.25
Oregon $12.75 Standard Counties (effective July 01, 2021)
$14.00 Portland Metro (effective July 01, 2021)
Pennsylvania $7.25
Puerto Rico $6.55
Note: Puerto Rico law sets minimum wage as $6.55 per hour. However, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 still applies to most jobs. But those that are not covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act may pay the lower rate.
South Carolina No state law governing minimum wage.
Federal Law Minimum wage applicable
$7.25
South Dakota $9.45
Tennessee No state law governing minimum wage.
Federal Law Minimum wage applicable
$7.25
Texas $7.25
Utah $7.25
Vermont $11.75 per hour
Virginia $9.50 – Effective May 1, 2021;
$11.00- Effective January 1, 2022;
$12.00- Effective January 1, 2023;
$13.50- Effective January 1, 2025
$15.00- Effective January 1, 2026
Washington $13.69
West Virginia $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25
Wyoming $ 7.25
Law made Easy

“Child” as defined by the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 is a person who has not completed the age of fourteen years.

Children, by will or by force are employed to work in the harsh conditions and atmosphere which becomes a threat to their life.

No child (below the age of 14 years) shall be employed or permitted to work in any occupation or process.

Hiring children below the age of 14 years for any kind of work, other than in certain family-based work, is a cognizable offence and will attract a jail term of upto 2 years. Adolescents between the age of 14 – 18 years cannot be employed in any hazardous occupation.

Hazardous Employment

Hazardous child labour is work that is performed by children in dangerous and unhealthy conditions that can lead to a child being killed, injured or made ill as a result of poor safety and health standards or employment conditions. This is referred to as hazardous child labour.

Examples of hazardous employment are-

  • Anything that can cause spills or trips such as cords running across the floor or ice
  • Anything that can cause falls such as working from heights, including ladders, scaffolds, roofs, or any raised work area
  • Unguarded machinery and moving machinery parts that a worker can accidentally touch
  • Electrical hazards like frayed cords, missing ground pins, improper wiring
  • Confined spaces.

Rules for employing Adolescents

The Child Labour (Prevention and Regulation) Amendment Act allows adolescents to work in non-hazardous occupations and processes. If an adolescent is employed, the following conditions must be satisfied by the employer:

  • The period of work on each day should be fixed in a manner that no period or work would exceed three hours.
  • The adolescent must have an interval for rest for at least one hour after working for three hours.
  • The total time spent working by an adolescent cannot exceed 6 hours in a day, including the time spent in waiting for work.
  • Adolescents cannot be employed during the hours of 7PM to 8AM.
  • Adolescents cannot be made to work overtime.
  • Adolescents cannot work in more than one establishment, at anytime.
  • Adolescents must be provided in every week, a holiday of one whole day.

Punishments relating to child labour

  • For parents/guardians There shall not be any punishment in case of a first offence by parents/guardians. In case of a second and subsequent offence, the penalty prescribed is a maximum fine of Rs. 10,000.
  • For employer- Any offence committed by an employer which is punishable under the Child Labour act has been made a cognizable offence. Accordingly, the authorities can file a first information report and commence investigations into the offence without a court order and can arrest without a warrant.
  • PenaltyEmployment of a child or permitting a child to work in any occupation or process in contravention to the statute would lead to Imprisonment of: 6 months to 2 years Fine: Rs.20,000 to Rs. 50,000 or both.

How can we eliminate child labour from our society?

Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development Child labour can limit the time and energy children spend on education. Many forms of child labour are prohibited in international standards. While child labour can be an obstacle to education, at the same time education is instrumental in the prevention of child labour.  Through education, parents and children alike become more aware of its benefits, and the harm that child labour can cause.  And access to education helps reduce poverty, one of the root causes of child labour. It can be concluded that education is the key to abolish child labour across the globe.

Role/Importance of education or Right to Education Act in eliminating child labour

The RTE act is not innovative law. Universal adult franchise in the act was opposed since most of the population was illiterate. Article 45 in the Constitution of India was set up as an act: “The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years”

  • The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats to children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).

STOP Child Labour- It promotes jobs & protects people.


*This Article is a part of the ‘Know Your Rights’ series by Centre for Clinical Legal Education, Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai 

Legislation UpdatesStatutes/Bills/Ordinances

Industrial Relations Code, 2020 received Presidential Assent on 28-09-2020.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020

Industrial Relations Code has been introduced for amalgamating, simplifying and rationalising the relevant provisions of ––

(a) the Trade Unions Act, 1926;

(b) the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946; and

(c) the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

Purpose and Objective

The said legislation provides a broader framework to protect the rights of workers to form unions, to minimise the friction between the employers and workers and to provide provisions for investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.

The object of the proposed legislation is to achieve industrial peace and harmony as the ultimate pursuit in resolving industrial disputes and to advance the progress of the industry by bringing about the existence of harmony and cordial relationship between the employers and workers.

Salient Features:

(i) to define “workers” which includes the persons in supervisory capacity getting wages up to eighteen thousand rupees per month or an amount as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time;

Fixed-Term Employment

(ii) to provide for fixed-term employment with the objective that the employee gets all the benefits like that of a permanent worker (including gratuity), except for notice period after the conclusion of a fixed period, and retrenchment compensation. The employer has been provided with the flexibility to employ workers on a fixed-term basis on the basis of requirement and without restriction on any sector;

Definition of “Industry” Revised

(iii) to revise the definition of “industry” that any systematic activity carried on by co-operation between the employer and workers for the production, supply or distribution of goods or services with a view to satisfying human wants or wishes (not being wants or wishes which are merely spiritual or religious in nature) with certain exceptions;

Concerted Casual Leave under “STRIKE”

(iv) to bring concerted casual leave within the ambit of the definition of strike;

Adequate Representation of Women Workers

(v) to provide the maximum number of members in the Grievance Redressal Committee up to ten in an industrial establishment employing twenty or more workers. There shall be an adequate representation of the women workers therein in the proportion of the women workers to the total workers employed in the industrial establishment;

Negotiating Union

(vi) to provide for a new feature of recognition of negotiating union and negotiating council in an industrial establishment by an employer for the purpose of negotiations. The criterion for recognition of negotiating union has been fixed at fifty-one per cent. or more workers on a muster roll of that industrial establishment. As regards the negotiating council, a Trade Union having support every twenty percent. of workers will get one seat in the negotiating council and the fraction above twenty per cent. shall be disregarded;

Appeal for Cancellation of Trade Union

(vii) to provide for an appeal against non-registration or cancellation of registration of Trade Union before the Industrial Tribunal;

Recognition of Trade Union

(viii) to empower the Central Government and the State Governments to recognise a Trade Union or a federation of Trade Unions as the Central Trade Union or State Trade Unions, respectively;

Standing Order

(ix) to provide for the applicability of threshold of three hundred or more workers for an industrial establishment to obtain certification of standing orders, if the standing order differ from the model standing order made by the Central Government;

(x) to provide that if the employer prepares and adopts a model standing order of the Central Government with respect to the matters relevant to the employer’s industrial establishment, then the model standing order would be deemed to be certified. Otherwise, the industrial establishment may seek certification of only those clauses which are different from the model standing orders;

Industrial Tribunal

(xi) to set up an Industrial Tribunal consisting of a Judicial Member and an Administrative Member, in place of only Judicial Member who presently presides the Tribunal. For certain specified cases, the matters will be decided by the two-member Tribunal and the remaining shall be decided by a single-member Tribunal as may be provided for in the rules;

(xii) to set up Industrial Tribunals in the place of existing multiple adjudicating bodies like the Court of Inquiry, Board of Conciliation and Labour Courts;

(xiii) to remove the reference system for adjudication of Industrial Disputes, except the reference to the National Industrial Tribunal for adjudication;

Conciliation Proceedings

(xiv) to provide that the commencement of conciliation proceedings shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of the first meeting held by the conciliation officer in an industrial dispute after the receipt of the notice of strike or lock-out by the conciliation officer;

Strikes & Lock-Outs | 14 days notice required

(xv) to prohibit strikes and lock-outs in all industrial establishments without giving notice of fourteen days;

Industrial Establishments Obligation

(xvi) to provide for the obligation on the part of industrial establishments pertaining to mine, factories and plantation having three hundred or more workers to take prior permission of the appropriate Government before lay-off, retrenchment and closure with flexibility to the appropriate Government to increase the threshold to higher numbers, by notification;

Re-skilling fund | Retrenched Workers

(xvii) to set up a re-skilling fund for training of retrenched workers. The fund shall, inter alia, consist of the contribution of the employer of an amount equal to fifteen days wages last drawn by the worker immediately before the retrenchment or such other number of days, as may be notified by the Central Government, in case of retrenchment only. The fund shall be utilised by crediting fifteen days wages last drawn by the worker to his account who is retrenched, within forty-five days of the retrenchment as may be provided by rules;

Compounding Offences

(xviii) to provide for compounding of offences by a Gazetted Officer, as the appropriate Government may, by notification, specify, for a sum of fifty per cent. of the maximum fine provided for such offence punishable with fine only and for a sum of seventy-five per cent. provided for such offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which is not more than one year, or with fine;

Penalties

(xix) to provide for penalties for different types of violations to rationalise with such offences and commensurate with the gravity of the violations;

(xx) to empower the appropriate Government to exempt any industrial establishment from any of the provisions of the Code in the public interest for the specified period.

Read the detailed Act, here: Industrial Relations Code, 2020


Ministry of Law and Justice

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and Sanjiv Khanna, J has issued notice to the Centre in a writ petition challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 327 (7) of the Companies Act, 2013 qua Section 53 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, to the extent that Section 327 (7) renders the meaning of the Explanation (II) to Section 53 of the Code meaningless.

The petition was filed by a group of workmen comprising the Moser Baer Karamchari Union. Swarnendu Chatterjee and Shriya Maini, the advocates appearing for the Union argued before the Court that since Section 327(7) bars the application of Section 326 and Section 327 Companies Act, 2013 to the proceedings under the Code, it denies the workmen their legitimate dues for the services rendered in the company for a long period of time, which runs contrary to the concept to Right to Livelihood enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The Union also submitted that the Legislation undertaken for the benefit of the labour or workmen cannot be so construed so as to prejudiced the right and welfare of the labour. It would be an illegitimate method of interpretation of a statute or any provision whose dominant purpose is to protect the workmen. The petition read,

“The present provision; Section 327 (7) of the Companies Act, 2013 creates an artificial embargo by ousting the application of Section 326 of Companies Act, 2013 to the proceedings under IBC, 2016 which results in exclusion of “Workmen Dues” which results in violation of Right to Livelihood as the statutory dues which are rights of every employee/workmen gets denied.”

It was argued that “by not defining “Workmen Dues” in the Code itself and also by debarring the application of companies Act by the impugned Section, a void has been created, with respect to the definition of workmen dues under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.  On the other hand, by excluding the applicability of Companies Act, especially Sections 326 and 327 from the proceedings under the Code, it has created an ambiguity as it fails to define as to what will constitute “Workmen’s Dues” under the Code, being in stark violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.”

The petition stated,

“when Legislature in its wisdom has categorically mentioned that the definition of workmen dues will be taken/borrowed/shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 326 of the Companies Act, 2013, Section 327(7) frustrates the object and purpose of the explanation (II) which results in conflict between two central statutes and ultimately results in denial of statutory dues of the workmen such as gratuity, pension, provided fund and all other wages and salaries which have been guaranteed under Section 326 of the Companies Act, 2013, in effect rendering the Companies Act and its applicability to the Code to a level of a mere rubber stamp. Such denial in effect actually frustrates the social welfare aspect of the beneficial provision which results in denial of hard earned money and welfare rights of the workmen guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the matter where an illegally terminated workman had sought reinstatement claiming preference over other persons being a “retrenched workman” as per Section 25(H) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (ID Act), the bench of Abhay Manohar Sapre and Indu Malhotra, JJ held that it was not a case of a retrenchment of the respondent from service as contemplated under Section 25(H) of the ID Act as the workman had already accepted the compensation awarded to him in lieu of his illegal termination.

In the present case, the respondent had claimed that since the appellant company had regularised the services of 2 peons, he become entitled to claim re­employment in terms of Section 25 (H) of ID Act.  The Court, however, rejected the claim and held that the respondent was not entitled to invoke the provisions of   Section   25(H) of   the ID Act and seek reemployment by citing the case of another employee (Peon) who was already in employment and whose services were only regularized by the appellant on the basis of his service record in terms of the Rules.

The Bench said:

“the regularization of an employee already in service does not give any right to retrenched employee so as to enable him to invoke Section 25(H) of the ID Act for claiming reemployment in the services. The reason is that by such act the employers do not offer any fresh employment to any person to fill any vacancy in their set up but they simply regularize the services of an employee already in service.  Such act does not amount to filling any vacancy.”

It was explained that in order to attract the provisions of Section 25(H) of the ID Act, the workman needs to prove that:

  • he was the “retrenched employee”
  • his ex­employer has decided to fill up the vacancies in their set up and, therefore, he is entitled to claim preference over those persons, who have applied against such vacancies for a job while seeking re­employment in the services.

Explaining the difference between the terms ‘employment’ and ‘regularization of the service”, the Bench said:

“the   expression ‘employment’   signifies   a fresh employment to fill the vacancies whereas the expression ‘regularization of the service’ signifies that the employee, who is already in service, his services are regularized as per service regulations.”

[Management of the Barara Cooperative Marketing­cum Processing Society Ltd v. Workman Pratap Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1, decided on 02.01.2019]

Business NewsNews

The concept of fixed term employment defines the tenure of employment as well as other associated conditions of service and remunerations, which are provided to regular employees under various labour laws. The government has extended the facility of hiring workers on fixed term employment to all sectors for improving the ease of doing business for players intending to hire people for completing specified projects, tasks or orders. The facility of fixed term employment was introduced in apparel manufacturing sector in Industrial Employment (Standing Order ) Act in October, 2016.

[Key highlights] As per a notification issued by the labour ministry to amend the Order :-

  • The words “fixed term employment in apparel manufacturing sector” will be replaced by “fixed term employment” meaning that facility would be available/extended to all sectors.
  • The worker employed for short period will get better working and service conditions as compared to a contract worker.
  • No notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in case of temporary and badli workmen.
  • The fixed term employment is defined as a workman employed on a contract basis for a fixed period. Thus the services of the workman will be automatically terminated as a result of non-renewal of contract between the employer and the workman concerned.
  • A fixed term worker would not be entitled to any notice or pay in lieu of that, if his services are terminated or in case of non-renewal of contract or expiry of term of employment.
  • Also a temporary workmen who has completed 3 months of continuous service, shall be given 2 weeks notice of the intention to terminate his employment if such termination is not in accordance with the terms of the contract. In case he has not completed 3 months of continuous service, he shall be informed for the reasons for termination in writing.
  • Any services of temporary nature shall not be terminated as punishment unless the employee has been given an opportunity of explaining the charges of misconduct alleged against him.
  • A separation of service of the workman as a result of non-renewal of the contract of employment between the employer and workman concerned shall not be construed as termination of employment. This facility will aid the industry to employ worker in sectors which are of seasonal nature and witness fluctuation of demand and hence requires flexibility in employing workers.
  • Under the fixed term employment the working conditions in terms of working hours, wages, allowances and other statutory dues would be at par with a permanent workmen and no less than that.
  • A fixed term worker will also be eligible for all statutory benefits available to a permanent workman proportionately according to the period of service rendered by him even though his period of employment does not extend to the qualifying period of employment required in the statute.
  • The employer can directly hire a worker for a fixed term without mediation of any contractor.

[Source: The Economic Times]

Photo Courtesy: Financial Tribune, https://financialtribune.com/sites/default/files/field/image/

Foreign LegislationLegislation Updates

In a corrigendum notification S.O. 1049(E) issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the new S. 11-A which provides for the provision of a creche facility by an employer which employs more than 50 persons shall be applicable from July 1, 2017. The Notification erroneously refers to “sub-section (1) of of Section 4” which shall come into force on July 1, 2017. The earlier notification S.O. 1026(E) had referred to “sub-section (5) of Section 3” coming into force on July 1, 2017. The Amendment Act does not have S. 3(5).

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Dealing with the question as to whether temporarily engaged employees (daily-wage employees, ad-hoc appointees, employees appointed on casual basis, contractual employees and the like), are entitled to minimum of the regular pay-scale, alongwith dearness allowance (as revised from time to time) on account of their performing the same duties, which are discharged by those engaged on regular basis, against sanctioned posts, the Court said that the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ constitutes a clear and unambiguous right and is vested in every employee – whether engaged on regular or temporary basis.

The bench of J.S. Khehar and S.A. Bobde, JJ said that in a welfare state, an employee engaged for the same work, cannot be paid less than another, who performs the same duties and responsibilities. Such an action besides being demeaning, strikes at the very foundation of human dignity as any one, who is compelled to work at a lesser wage, does not do so voluntarily.

The Court, however, clarified the legal position for the application of the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’. Some of the principles highlighted by the Court are as follows:

  • The ‘onus of proof’, of parity in the duties and responsibilities of the subject post with the reference post, under the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’, lies on the person who claims it.
  • Mere fact that the subject post occupied by the claimant, is in a “different department” vis-a-vis the reference post, does not have any bearing on the determination of a claim, under the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’. However, for equal pay, the concerned employees with whom equation is sought, should be performing work, which besides being functionallyequal, should be of the same quality and sensitivity.
  • Persons performing the same or similar functions, duties and responsibilities, can also be placed in different pay-scales. Such as – ‘selection grade’, in the same post. But this difference must emerge out of a legitimate foundation, such as – merit, or seniority, or some other relevant criteria.
  • The reference post, with which parity is claimed, under the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’, has to be at the same hierarchy in the service, as the subject post.
  • A comparison between the subject post and the reference post, under the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’, cannot be made, where the subject post and the reference post are in different establishments, having a different management. Or even, where the establishments are in different geographical locations, though owned by the same master.
  • Different pay-scales, in certain eventualities, would be permissible even for posts clubbed together at the same hierarchy in the cadre if the duties and responsibilities of one of the posts are more onerous, or are exposed to higher nature of operational work/risk, the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ would not be applicable and also when, the reference post includes the responsibility to take crucial decisions, and that is not so for the subject post.

In the present case, all the temporary employees in the present bunch of appeals, were appointed against posts which were also available in the regular cadre/establishment. It was also accepted by the State of Punjab, that during the course of their employment, the concerned temporary employees were being randomly deputed to discharge duties and responsibilities, which at some point in time, were assigned to regular employees. The Court hence, held that there can be no doubt, that the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ would be applicable to all the concerned temporary employees, so as to vest in them the right to claim wages, at par with the minimum of the pay-scale of regularly engaged Government employees, holding the same post. [State of Punjab v. Jagjit Singh, , 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1200, decided on 26.10.2016]

New releases

The book India: The Business Opportunity was released at the Nehru Centre in London. The book release was attended by Mr Srinivas Gotru, Director of the Nehru Centre, Mr Rakesh Shukla, Team Modi, BJP and Mr C.B. Yadav, AAG, Govt. of U.P. The book release was followed by a panel discussion on Opportunities and Challenges in doing business in India. The panel discussion was moderated by Prof. Stuart Weinstein, Prof at the Faculty of Business and Law, University of Coventry. The panellists included Mr Rakesh Shukla, Team Modi, BJP, Mr Ravi Kulkarni, Senior Partner, Khaitan & Co., Mr Philip Bouverat, Director, JCB, Dr. Diwakar Sukul, Founder Kamkus Group of Clinics, Mr Praveen Pandey, Consultant, Singhania & Co., Mr Karnik Dujmajjan & Ms. Anushka Sinha, Laura Devine, Solicitors, Mr C.B. Yadav, AAG, Govt. of U.P. and Dr Linda Spedding, International Lawyer. The book has been published by Eastern Book Company.

Book Reviews:

This book comes at an opportune time and provides the reader the much-needed comprehensive understanding of the Indian market dynamics. Dr. Linda Spedding being an aficionado in the comparative commercial sphere adds another edition to her oeuvre in 18 chapters spread over 700 pages. The theme of the book is to touch major aspects that ought to have a bearing on business in India either directly or indirectly. The assigning of chapters on niche areas to advocates practicing in those very subjects has given greater depth to the book. One appreciable pattern in every chapter is the ease with which the Authors start to explain the basic concept and slowly graduate from an elementary level to a professional level. With the increasing awareness/knowledge/specialization in field specific work today, ‘India – The Business Opportunity’ comes as an ideal capsule for investors, analysts and lawyers alike because it gives a detailed account of all laws impacting Indian commerce in a single compilation. – India Law Journal. For the full review click here

For the story on the contributors see here.

The book is available from all legal booksellers. To buy a copy online in India, click here and to buy a copy in the UK click here and in Continental Europe click here