CHANDULAL MOHANLAL Vs. STATE OF BOMBAY NOW GUJARAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
STATE OF BOMBAY
Referred Judgements :-
BUDHAN CHOWDHARY V. THE STATE OF BIHAR
KALIDAS V. STATE OF BOMBAY
PRASHAR V. VASANTSEN
RAM KRISHNA DALMIA V. TENDOLKAR J.
CHARANJIT LAL CHOWDHARY VS. UNION OF INDIA
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(1.)This petition relates to a concern employing five workmen and the matter by itself would seem to be unimportant but the question involved-one under the Minimum Wages Act-affects a number of merchants similarly situated and the petitioner has presented this petition as a test case. The petitioner is a merchant carrying on business in Ahmedabad in cotton waste and yarn. He has rented a godown in the compound of a ginning and pressing factory and in that compound he gets the work of cleaning cotton done by engaging about five employees. He purchases waste from textile mills and the waste is sorted out in his godown for impurities like kitti dirt oil etc. The employees clear the waste of impurities and also sort out different kinds of waste. A number of merchants it appears carry on similar business but it is not clear whether they also have rented godowns in the compound of other ginning and pressing factories as done by the petitioner. The Modus Operandi followed by the petitioner is that after the waste is cleaned and sorted out he sells it to other merchants. A Notification issued by the Government of Bombay dated 18/04/1959 and to which we shall presently turn is challenged by petitioner on this petition. It is necessary in this resume of facts to refer to an earlier Notification on which also considerable Reliance has been placed by the petitioner.
(2.)On 31/01/1956 a Notification was issued by the State of Bombay in accordance with the provisions of sec. 5(1)(a) of the Minimum Wages Act 1948 On the advice of the Committee appointed to hold enquiries and advise the State Government in fixing the minimum rates of wages in respect of the employment in any cotton ginning or cotton pressing manufactory the State Government fixed the minimum wages in respect of various zones in the State and in respect of the various types of workmen and also various classes of workmen and having regard to the nature of work done by them. All that was shown in the Schedule to that Notification. Four Zones there shown related to different areas in the State. The type of work done by workmen was divided into three heads of Skilled Semi-skilled and Unskilled workmen. There were two classes of Unskilled workmen viz. those doing light work and those doing heavy work. Under the heading of employees belonging to the class of Unskilled workmen doing light work was the entry employees employed on picking and cleaning of Kapas. Ahmedabad is in zone II of that Schedule and the salary of such employees for a month of twenty-six days is shown there as Rs. 36-10-0. There was an amendment in that Notification made on 31st July 1959 and by the amendment the words employees employed on picking and cleaning of Kapas were substituted by the words employees employed on picking and cleaning raw or ginned cotton.
(3.)On 18/04/1959 the State Government promulgated another Notification and that was done under the advice of the Committee to hold enquiries and advise the State Government in fixing minimum rates of wages in respect of employment in any shop or commercial establishment other than that covered under any of other entries in the Schedule to the Act. Section 3 of the Minimum Wages Act empowers the State Government inter alia to fix the minimum rates of wages payable to employees employed in an employment specified in part one of the Schedule. The Schedule as it originally stood enumerated employments. Section 27 of that Act lays down the power of the State Government to add to the Schedule. To the twelve employments mentioned in the Schedule were added four more by a Notification dated 10-12-57 under sec. 27. The expression scheduled employment is defined in the Act to mean an employment specified in the Schedule or a process or branch of work forming part of such employment. Considerable argument urged before us on behalf of the petitioner has revolved on the Schedule to which four employments were added and it will be convenient therefore to set out here the Schedule with the additions to the same in extenso.
THE SCHEDULE [See section 2(g) and 27] Part I 1 Employment in any woolen carpet making or Shawl weaving establishment. 2 Employment in any rice mill Flour mill or dall mill. 3 Employment in any tobacco (including Bidi making) Manufactory. 4 Employment in any plantation that is to say any estate which is maintained for the purpose of growing cinchous rubber tea or coffee. 5 Employment in any oil mill 6 Employment under any local authority. 7 Employment on the construction or maintenance of roads or in building operations. 8 Employment in stone breaking or stone crushing. 9 Employment in any lac manufactory. 10 Employment in any mica works. 11 Employment in public motor transport. 12 Employment in tanneries and leather manufactory. 13 Employment in any cotton ginning or cotton pressing manufactory. Notification 1954 P. IV A p. 223. 14 Employment in any industry in which any process of printing by letter-press lithography photography or other similar work incidental to such process or book-binding is carried on. 15 Employment in any residential. restaurant or eating house as defined in Bombay Shops & Establishment Act 1948 16 Employment in any Shop or Commercial establishment other than that covered under any of the other entries in this Schedule. Explanation: For the purposes of this entry the expression shop and Commercial Establishment shall have the same meaning as assigned to them in Bombay Shops & Establishment Act 1948
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