Bapu Salvi & Ors Vs. Vishwanath Janardhan Joshi  INSC 376 (22 September 1993)
P.B. Sawant, P.B. Mohan, S. (J) Bharucha S.P. (J)
1995 SCC Supl. (1) 148
appellants are employees of the respondent-Mint and are also in occupation of
the official quarters. They filed a claim under Section 33-C(2) of the
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 before the labour court for calculating their
overtime wages on the basis of their basic wages plus the house rent allowance
to which, according to them, they were entitled. Their contention was that even
if they were occupying the official accommodation, since under the rules they
were entitled to house rent allowance when no official accommodation was given
to them, under Section 59(2) of the Factories Act the overtime wages payable to
them should be calculated taking into consideration the house rent allowance as
well. The labour court accepted their contention and granted the appellants'
claim. However, in writ petition filed by the respondents, the High Court held
that since the appellants were occupying the official accommodation, 149 they
were not entitled to the payment of the house rent allowance within the meaning
of Section 59(2) of the Factories Act. Hence the said allowance could not to be
taken into consideration for calculating the overtime wage.
this view of the matter, the High Court set aside the order of the labour court
and allowed the writ petition. It is this order which is challenged before us.
Section 59(2) of the Factories Act reads as follows "59. Extra wages for
overtime.- (1) ....
the purposes of sub-section ( 1) 'ordinary rate of wages' means the basic wage
s plus such allowances, including the cash equivalent of the advantage accruing
through the concessional sale to workers of foodgrains and other articles, as
the worker is for the time being entitled to, but does not include a bonus and
wages for overtime work." The language of this section is very clear. It
says that the ordinary rate of wages which is referred to in sub- section (1)
of Section 59 means basic wages plus such allowance ... as the worker is for
the time being entitled to, but excludes bonus and wages for overtime work.
the appellants are not entitled to the payment of the house rent allowance
since they are occupying the official quarters. Hence for calculating the
overtime wages, the house rent allowance cannot be taken into account. What
Section 59(2) contemplates is the eligibility to the payment of the house rent
allowance. The service conditions envisage employees who are and who are not
provided with the official accommodation and provide for house rent allowance
only to those who are not provided with the accommodation. The mere fact, therefore,
that the service rules provide for house rent allowance when no accommodation
is given, will not entitle the employees to succeed in their present claim. The
labour court had obviously erred in holding otherwise. We are, therefore, in
agreement with the view taken by the High Court.
this view of the matter, we dismiss the appeal with no order as to costs.
However, if the appellants are entitled to the calculation of the overtime
wages by including house rent allowance otherwise than under Section 59(2) of
the Factories Act, they are free to pursue that claim.