Decided on April 05,1967



- (1.) THE petitioner is working as a conductor with the Rewa Transport Services. Rewa (respondent No. 1 ). The petitioner's application for recovery of overtime wages was dismissed by the Authority appointed under the Payment of Wages Act by order dated 19th September 1964. An appeal preferred by the petitioner was also dismissed by the Industrial Court M. P. , by its order dated 2nd March 1966. The petitioner by this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing the said two orders and for issuance of a suitable direction to the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act to determine the overtime wages and to direct the payment thereof.
(2.) MOTOR transport is a 'scheduled industry', and the minimum wages for the workers in the industry have been fixed by the State of Madhya Pradesh under the m. P. Minimum Wages Fixation Act, 1962. Section 4 of the Act has made Section 4-A, Section 5 and Sections 12 to 30-A of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, and the rules framed thereunder, applicable to the minimum rate of wages fixed under the state Act. Thus, for all practical purposes, in the matter of minimum wages the petitioner is governed by the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. Section 13 of the minimum Wages Act empowers the appropriate Government to fix the number of hours of work which shall constitute a normal working day, inclusive of one or more specified intervals and other matters. But Section 13 of the Motor Transport workers Act, 1961, has already covered this field and hence the State Govt. has nothing to do in this matter. Section 14 of the Minimum Wages Act then provides that an employer shall pay the worker for every hour or part of an hour for which the worker is required to work in excess of the normal working day at the rate fixed under the Act or under any law of the appropriate Government Rule 27 framed by the State Government under the Minimum Wages Act fixes such rate section 13 of the Motor Transport Workers Act also provides for payment at a fixed rate for overtime work under certain circumstances. Section 13 of the Motor Transport Workers Act provides that no motor transport worker shall work for more than eight hours in any day or forty-eight hours in any week. In case of long distance routes or on festive or other occasions, the employer may allow the worker to work for more than eight hours with the previous approval of the appropriate authority, or in case of breakdown or such other causes also the worker may be allowed to work for more than eight hours. In these cases the employer is required to pay overtime wages as prescribed under Section 13 of the Motor Transport Workers Act. But in those cases where the matter is not covered by Section 13, the only provision under which overtime wages can be claimed is Rule 27 framed under the Minimum Wages Act. In fact, the petitioner had relied on Rule 27. Shri Tankha, learned counsel for the respondent No. 1, urged that Section 13 of the Motor Transport Workers Act totally prohibits employment of a worker for more than eight hours a day excepting the special circumstances mentioned under that section and as such no claim for overtime wages can be made. This submission we shall consider hereafter. For the present, we shall assume that the petitioner is entitled to claim overtime wages under Rule 27 framed under the Minimum Wages Act. If this is so, in our opinion, the Pay-ment of Wages Authority had no jurisdiction to entertain the application of the petitioner.
(3.) OUR reasons are these: Section 20 of the Minimum Wages Act provides that the appropriate Government may appoint "the authority to hear and decide for any specified area all claims arising out of the payment of less than the minimum rates of wages or. . . . . or of wages at the overtime rate under Section 14 to employees employed or paid in that area. " thus, all claims for payment of less than minimum wages or less than the wages at overtime rate must be made to the Authority appointed under Section 20 of the minimum Wages Act. In Surajmal v. Authority under Payment of Wages Act, uijain, 1964 MPLJ 476 = (AIR 1964 Madh Pra 312) a Division Bench of this Court held: "the Industrial Disputes Act is a special Act dealing with investigation and settlement of Industrial Disputes and matters provided by various provisions of that Act; the Payment of Wages Act is also a special Act regulating the Payment of Wages to certain class of persons employed in any industry and its main purpose is to determine the claims of workers arising out of deductions from their wages or delay in the payment of their wages Both these Acts being special Acts, Sections 2 (vi) (d) and 15 of the Payment of Wages Act cannot be construed so as to curtail the operation of Section 33-C (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act" . This principle of law is attracted in the present case also. Whether the petitioner is entitled to overtime wages or not will have to be determined on the interpretation of various provisions of the Minimum Wages Act as modified bv the Motor transport Workers Act. 1961 Sections 20 and 21 of the Minimum Wages Act provide a complete machinery for determination of the claim for overtime wages and thp recovery thereof. The proper authority to determine the claim is, therefore, the authority appointed under the Minimum Wages Act. and not one appointed under the Pavment of Wages Act. The petitioner moved the wrong authority and on this ground alone the petition is lia-ble to be dismissed;

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