LAWRENCE P T Vs. KERALA STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
LAWRENCE P T
KERALA STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION BY ITS
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(1.) THE petitioner in Original Petition No. 2401 of 1968 is a welfare officer attached to the Central Works of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation at Pappanamcode, Trivandrum. He had been originally recruited to Government service in the Transport Department of the Kerala State Government in the scale of Rs. 80-150 by appointment order dated 15 July 1957. There is some dispute between the parties as to the actual designation of the post in which the petitioner was so appointed, the petitioner claiming that he was appointed even initially as welfare officer, while according to the respondents the original appointment of the petitioner was in the designation "labour inspector". It is, however, admitted on behalf of respondent 1 that the post held by the petitioner was redesigned as welfare officer by virtue of a Government order dated 6 June 1958 and the pay-scale attached to the post was revised as Rs. 100-200 with effect from 1 April 1958.
(2.) BY Notification No. D Dis. 4668/57/l and LAD, dated 18 December 1957, published in the Kerala Gazette, dated 31 December 1957, the Government of Kerala, in exercise of the powers conferred by Sections 49, 50 and 112 of the Factories Act, 1948, promulgated the Kerala Factories (Welfare Officers) Rules, 1957. Rule 6 of the aforesaid rules provides that the scale of pay of a welfare officer attached to a factory shall not be less than Rs. 200-10-240-E. B.-15-300. On the strength of this rule the petitioner made representations to the State Government for appropriate revision of his pay-scale, but the Government seems to have informed him that the question of revision of his pay-scale in conformity with the aforesaid rules would be taken up at the time of the general pay revision proposed to be effected in the concerned department. While so, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation was formed on 15 March 1965 and the services of the employees functioning in the road transport wing of the Transport Department of the State Government were transferred to the control of the newly formed Corporation severing their nexus with the State Government. The petitioner, thereafter, appears to have made representations to the corporation for revision of his pay-scale in accordance with the provisions of Rule 6 of the Kerala Factories (Welfare Officers) Rules, 1957. Since he was not granted such benefit he put in a petition before the labour court, Quilon, under Section 33c (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 praying for the determination of the benefit to which he is entitled under the Kerala Factories (Welfare Officers) Rules. This petition was dismissed by the labour court by the order evidenced by Ex. P. 8, dated 4 February 1966, on the ground that the petitioner is not a workman falling within the ambit of Section 33c (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, and, therefore, the labour court had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition filed by him under the aforesaid section. Original Petition No. 2401 of 1966 has been filed by the petitioner seeking to quash the order Ex. P. 3
(3.) SUBSEQUENT to the dismissal of his petition filed under Section 33c (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, the petitioner made an application under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, in the Court of the authority under the Payment of Wages Act (Kerala State), Quilon, for recovery of the difference between the wages actually paid to him and the wages which he claimed to be entitled to under the Kerala Factories (Welfare Officers) Rules, 1957, for the wage-period ending April, 1965. This application was opposed by the General Manager, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, mainly on the ground that the petitioner's claim was not one arising from out of say deduction from the wages or delay in payment of wages and was, therefore, not maintainable under Section 15. In other words, the contention was that the jurisdiction of the authority was limited to cases where the claim was with respect to deduction from or withholding or delaying of part or whole of the wages stipulated to be paid under the contract of employment. This objection was overruled by the authority which held that the petitioner is entitled to the pay-scale of Rs. 200-300 and that in that scale he is entitled to receive a pay of Rs. 240 per mensem on a proper application of Rule 6 of the Kerala Factories (Welfare Officers) Rules, 1957. Accordingly, by order dated 28 March 1966, it directed the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation to pay to the petitioner the amount of Rs. 47 being the balance pay due to him for the period covered by the petition. It is against this order that the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has preferred Original Petition No. 3018 of 1966, a copy of the order having been produced by them as Ex. P. 1.;
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