Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Vandana Kasrekar, J., allowed a writ petition and extended the benefit of 5th pay scale to the petitioner.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner was initially appointed on the post of Chowkidar on 01-01-1993 in the Department. His services were terminated along with other daily wage employees w.e.f. 28-03-2000, but thereafter, he was taken back in service in the year 2004 and since then, the petitioner is working on the post of Driver.

The petitioner has stated that he has completed more than 29 years of services and is qualified for appointment on the post of Driver. He further stated that respondents have granted the benefit of 5th & 6th pay-scale from the date of its application i.e. 01-01-1996 to the similarly situated persons, however, the same benefit has not been granted to the petitioner. The petitioner, therefore, filed a Writ Petition No. 463/2016 before this Court and the said writ petition was disposed of vide order dated 18-01-2016 directing the respondent/s to pay the 5th and 6th pay scale in light of the case of Kishorilal Prajapati v. State of M.P. (WP No. 5332/2010(s) passed on 03-07-2012). In pursuance to the orders issued by this Court, the matter was sent to Council of Ministers along with other cases for grant of a minimum of pay-scale along with arrears in 5th & 6th Pay-scale to the employees of the NVDA. The Council of Ministers in its meeting had approved the grant of minimum pay-scale along with its arrears. Accordingly, the order dated 18/10/2016 was issued by the respondents/department, thereby extending the said benefit to the petitioner and other employees, however, thereafter, the Executive Engineer has issued the order dated 27/10/2016, thereby extending the benefit of only 6th pay-scale to the petitioner w.e.f. 01-01-2016, but has not granted the benefit of 5th pay scale.

In view of the above, the Court allowed the writ petition, stating that the petitioner is also similarly situated employee, therefore, the respondents are duty-bound to comply with the order passed by this Court in favour of the petitioner also and directed to extend the benefit of 5th pay-scale to the petitioner from the date of its applicability i.e. 01-01-1996 along with all arrears, within a period of four months.[Dilip v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 2370, decided on 30-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sudhanshu Dhulia, J. directed the State to follow the rule of equity while granting payment to its employees.

The petitioners were Junior Residents working in a Government Medical College also pursuing a post graduation course along with it. The issue that arose was with respect to the remuneration received by them, which was less than what was being given to junior residents not undergoing any post graduation course with due consideration to the fact that work and duties performed by them were same in nature. Also, the benefit of the 7th pay commission was not been given to them.

The Court thereby highlighting the principle of equal pay and equal work, directed the respondent on the principle of equity to grant the benefit of the 7th pay commission to both the categories of junior residents irrespective of them undergoing any post graduation or not. Accordingly, the writ petition was disposed of. [Ravi Saini (Dr.) v. State of Uttarakhand, 2017 SCC OnLine Utt 1784,  order dated 06-10-2017]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Zambia: A 3-Judge Bench comprising of CJ Mambilima and Kaoma and Kajimanga, JJS., allowed appeal where remuneration for overtime work was claimed.

Facts leading to this appeal was that appellant was the employer of respondent governed by Quicksave Limited Conditions of Service. Employment of respondent was terminated resulting in the filing of complaint to Industrial Relations Court where she prayed for payment of her accrued overtime amount. Appellant reply asserted her to be employed as a sales lady getting commission on sales. The Court favoured the respondent for payment of overtime. Appellant had preferred this appeal against the above order in favour of respondent on the ground that Court erred in deciding that respondent was entitled to get paid for overtime.

Appellant submitted that the issue of overtime work and payment by Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act, were applicable to protected employees and since she was in management the Act was not applicable. Whereas respondent firmly admitted her prayer for overtime payment from her date of engagement, as sales lady to the point when she was appointed as depot manager and thus the Act mentioned above was applicable to her.

Supreme Court was satisfied with the evidence presented by appellant of payment of overtime in name of a bonus as provided in Clause 12 of the Terms of Service i.e. commission of 1% on the total sales. Hence, respondent was entitled to receive a bonus for overtime work which the respondent was already receiving, therefore, the order of Industrial Relations Court was declared wrong and was set aside. [Quicksave Limited v. Sarah Mubambe, Appeal No. 30 of 2016, dated 10-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: While allowing an appeal, the Division Bench of S.K. Seth J., and Nandita Dubey J., decided a writ in which the appellant- wife sought information in regard to the salary of respondent 1- husband in reference to obtaining maintenance amount.

The brief facts of the case state that Respondent 1-husband held a very high officer position in the Telecommunication Department and was also earning an amount of Rs. 2,25,000 per month, whereas the appellant, an advocate though not in practice, was attaining an amount of Rs. 7000 as maintenance from her husband.

For the stated amount of maintenance, the appellant had filed an application under Section 91 of CrPC to obtain a direction in which the respondent was asked to submit his payslip so that correct maintenance amount could be calculated accordingly, but the trial court had rejected her application. Further an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 was submitted in quest of the same details as mentioned above, which eventually was taken to Central Information Commission. CIC had then asked the CPIO, BSNL to provide the said details.

Challenging the order of CIC, the only claim that was raised upon from the side of the respondent was that he was not given an “opportunity of hearing” which is the violation of principles of natural justice, for which the learned Single Judge had given an opportunity to hear and directions were issued to CIC for fresh appeal. In the second round of writ petition, the order of CIC to provide the information asked was challenged both by Respondent 1 and BSNL.

However, in accordance to Section 8(1) (j) of the said Act, “the information which has no relation to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy”, is exempted from being disclosed, the Court allowed the appeal by stating the fact that appellant is the wife of Respondent 1 which gave her the right and entitlement to know the remuneration of her husband. [Sunita Jain v. Pawan Kumar Jain, 2018 SCC OnLine MP 373, dated 15-05-2018]

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]

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