Decided on May 13,1982

Management Ply Board Appellant
Authority Under The Wages Act Respondents


- (1.) THIS revision arises out of the proceedings for recovery of amount awarded under the payment, of wages Act, 1936 shortly Ëœthe Act. Section 15 of the Act empowers the competent authority called the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act to recover the arrears of wages due to the employee from the employer. Sub -section 5 of the said section reads as under: - 5 Any amount directed to be paid under this section may be recovered. a If the authority is a Magistrate by the authority as if it were a fine imposed by him as Magistrate, and b If the authority is not a Magistrate, by any Magistrate to whom the authority makes application in this behalf, as if it were a fine imposed by such Magistrate."
(2.) IN the present case the competent authority applied to the C. J. M. Srinagar for recovery of the amount found due by it to the employee from the employer. The C. J. M. Srinagar transferred the application for disposal to City Munsiff, Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar. The City Munsiff, Judicial Magistrate Srinagar took necessary steps to effect the recovery. The petitioners grievance is that the order of the transfer of the CJM was incompetent and consequently the subsequent proceedings are without jurisdiction. In this he has relied upon cl. b of sub. Section 5 reproduced above. A bare perusal of the said clause would, however, clearly show that the magistrate to whom the application is made does not become a persona designate. If that were so, then, perhaps it could not be possible for him to delegate the power to any other, person even if such person were a magistrate otherwise competent to effect the recovery as if the amount were imposed by way of a fine. The expression "any magistrate" would include any magistrate of competent jurisdiction and where there are more than one magistrates competent to affect the recovery then such magistrate would imply the principal magistrate of the area and, if that be so, then, as a corollary it follows that he can effect the recovery himself or order the same to be done by some other magistrate subordinate to him. His power of transfer in my opinion, is implied by the provisions itself. Any other interpretation would lead to many anomalies and absurdities. Take for example, the district of Srinagar. There are so many judicial magistrate acting in this district, if it were held that the choice exclusively lies with the competent authority, then he might choose a magistrate at Ganderbal for effecting the recovery, which can be conveniently effected by a magistrate at Srinagar, regard being had that the person from whom the recovery is sought to be effected belongs to city of Srinagar. The hardship that it would work on the persons against whom the recovery is sought to be effected is obvious, and hardly needs any explanation. In this view, if the competent authority has applied for the recovery to the CJM, Srinagar the latter was competent either to effect the recovery himself or to transfer the same to any other magistrate subordinate to him and, if that be so, proceeding for the recovery taken by the City Munsiff, Judl Magistrate, Srinagar, cannot be said to be without jurisdiction.
(3.) THE City Munsiff, Judl. Magistrate Srinagar, was not, however, correct in arrogating the power to himself by contending that the order of the transfer made by the CJM, Srinagar, was covered by Section 192 Cr. P. C. to that extent his view is not sustainable, but that would not affect the validity of the proceedings taken by him. Which, as pointed out above, are fully justified by sub section 5 of Section 15 of the Act. In the circumstances, I am not inclined to interfere with the order under revision. The revision is accordingly dismissed.;

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