Council Hatta Vs. Bhagat Singh & Ors  Insc 66 (5 February 1998)
Manmohar, D.P. Wadhwa
5TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1998 Present:
Mrs. Justice Sujata V. Manohar Hon'ble Mr. Justice D.P. Wadhwa Ashok K. Singh,
Adv. for S.K. Agnihotri, Adv. for the appellant Amitabh Verma, Adv. for Ashok Mathur,
Adv. for the Respondents.
O R D
following order of the Court was delivered:
respondents, who are Moharrirs/peons working with the appellant Municipal
Council, Hatta, filed an application under Section 22 of the Minimum Wages Act,
1948, before the Competent Authority (Labour Court) under the Minimum Wages
Act, 1948 for payment of overtime on the ground that they were working for 4
additional hours everyday. Their application for the period 1.2.82 to 31.3.83
has been allowed and the writ Petition which was filed by the appellant before
the High Court has been dismissed.
respondents who are employees of the appellant Municipal Council are governed
by the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1961. Under Section 95
of the Madhya Pradesh Municipalities Act, the State Government is entitled,
inter alia, to make rules in respect of scale of pay and all allowances by
whatever name called an other service conditions of Municipal Employees.
Pursuant to the power so vested, the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Services (Scales
of Pay and Allowances) Rules, 1997, have been framed. The pay scale of Moharrirs
is fixed at Rs. 70-2-80-2 1/2-100-EB-4-120. There is no provision under these
Rules for payment of any overtime allowance.
respondents contended that they would be entitled to overtime under the Minimum
Wages Act, 1948 by Virtue of Section 14 of the said Act. According to them,
service with Local Authority is one of the employment covered by the Minimum
Wages Act, 1948. Now, the minimum wages which are prescribed under the Minimum
Wages Act. 1948 which would be applicable to the respondents are Rs. 50/- per
the respondents re getting wages above the minimum wages prescribed under the
Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
short question is whether Section 14 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 would apply
to such persons. Section 14(1) which is relevant for the present purposes is as
14 "Overtime - (1) Where as employee., whose minimum rate of wages is
fixed under this Act by the hour.
day or by such a longer wage period as may be prescribed, works on any day in
excess of the number of hours constituting a normal working day, the employer
shall pay him for every hour or for part of an hour so worked in excess at the
overtime rate fixed under this Act or under any law of the appropriate
Government for the time being in force, whichever is higher." There is
also an amendment to section 14 by addition of sub-section (1a) under the
Minimum Wages (Madhya Pradesh Amendment and Validation) Act, 1961 being Act 23
(1a) which is inserted in Section 14 entitles the State Government by
Notification to fix the limit for overtime work in a Scheduled employment. This
provision is not directly relevant. To claim overtime under Section 14, the
following conditions must be fulfilled by an employee
minimum rate of wages should be fixed under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; and
an employee should work on any day in excess of the number of hours
constituting a normal working day.
overtime under Section 14 is payable to those employees who are getting a
minimum rate of wage as prescribed under the Minimum wages Act, 1948. These are
the only employees to whom overtime under Section 14 would become payable. In
the present case the respondents cannot be described as employees who are
getting a minimum rate of wages fixed under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. They
are getting much more and that too under the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Service
(Scales of Pay and Allowances) Rules, 1967. Therefore, Section 14 has no
application to them. We have not been shown any other provision under which
they can claim overtime.
application under Section 22 of the Minimum Wages Act, is, therefore,
misconceived. The respondents seem to have proceeded on the basis that because
employment under any Local Authority is listed as Item 6 in the Schedule to the
Minimum Wages Act, 1948 they would automatically get overtime under the said
Act. Section 14, however, clearly provides for payment of overtime only to
those employees who are getting minimum rate of wage under the Minimum Wages
Act, 1948. It does not apply to those getting better wages under other
appeal is, therefore, allowed and the impugned order of the High Court as well
as the competent Authority under the Minimum wages 1948 is set aside. There
will however, be no order as to costs.