THE MANAGEMENT OF NATESAN TRANSPORT (P.) LTD. Vs. THE PRESIDING OFFICER, LABOUR COURT AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
The Management Of Natesan Transport (P.) Ltd.
The Presiding Officer, Labour Court and Anr.
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A. Alagiriswami, J. -
(1.) THE second respondent was employed as a driver in the petitioner's motor transport service from 1st November, 1962 to 30th January, 1965, when he was dismissed from service. Thereafter the petitioner filed a suit against him in the Court of the District Munsif of Ariyalur in O.S. No. 268 of 1965 and obtained a decree for Rs. 1,024.44. The 2nd respondent filed a claim petition before the Labour Court, Madurai, under Section 35(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act for a sum of Rs. 5,448.65 under the following heads:
1. Three months pay for dismissal from service without notice ; 2. ARREARS of wages; Difference in wages between the wages payable under the Minimum Wages Act and what was payable to him; 3. BONUS ; 4. MEDICAL leave wages ; Wages for weekly holidays ; 5. OVERTIME wages for plying Neiveli to Kumbakonam for 14 months having worked for 151/2 hours per day ; and 6. ANOTHER sum as overtime wages for 151/9 months during which he alleged he worked for 161/2 hours per day. The Labour Court held that he was entitled to claim under three heads: 1. Pay for the month of January, 1965 a sum of Rs. 55 ; 2. Bonus of Rs. 80, and 3. Overtime wages of Rs. 1,485.
(2.) AS far as the first two claims are concerned the petitioner is entitled to succeed because both these items had been entered in the petitioner's accounts and the second respondent had been given credit therefore and it is for the balance that the petitioner filed the suit already referred to. The award of the Labour Court ignoring this fact is liable to be quashed as far as this part is concerned.
(3.) AS far as the overtime wages are concerned the evidence of the 2nd respondent was to the effect that he was entitled to arrears of wages from 1st November, 1962 till 26th January, 1965, for having worked in excess of 8 hours a day, the running time for Neiveli being 12 hours a day and from 5 A.m. to 10 p.m. for other routes. This evidence was too vague on which any claim for overtime wages could be based. But as far as the period of 13 months during which the second respondent worked on the Kumbakonam - -Neiveli route is concerned, there was the evidence of M.W. 2, Narasimhachari. His evidence shows that the second respondent must have worked for 11 hours, 32 minutes for three days in a week. There is no evidence with regard to the time during which the second respondent worked for the other 13th months.
The question, therefore, was what was the overtime wages to which he was entitled. Under Section 13 of the Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961, no adult motor transport worker shall be required or allowed to work for more than eight hours in any day and 48 hours in any week. The first proviso to this section reads as follows: Provided that where any such motor transport worker is engaged in the running of any motor transport service on such long distance routes, or on such festive and other occasions as may be notified in the prescribed manner by the prescribed authority, the employer may, with the approval of such authority, require or allow such motor transport worker to work for more than eight hours in any day or 48 hours in any week but in no case for more than ten hours in a day and fifty -four hours in a week, as the case may be.;
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