Supreme Court directs AAP government to decide minimum wages ‘afresh’ in 3 months

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New Delhi | Updated: November 2, 2018 6:06:57 PM

The Supreme Court has directed the AAP government to "redo" the exercise of fixing the minimum wages for the scheduled employment "afresh" within three months.

Supreme Court directs AAP government to decide minimum wages ?afresh? in 3 months

The Supreme Court has directed the AAP government to “redo” the exercise of fixing the minimum wages for the scheduled employment “afresh” within three months. The top court said that the minimum wages for all classes of workmen in all scheduled employment would be governed by the notification issue by the AAP government on an interim basis.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, made it clear that, at this stage, no arrears need to be paid but the current wages will be as per the notification dated March 3, 2017 till the time it decides the appeal against the Delhi High Court judgement.

“We also make it clear that the question of arrears under the notification dated March 3, 2017 will be governed by such wages as may be re-fixed pursuant to the fresh exercise ordered to be undertaken. “We also make it clear that no recovery of amount paid shall be made by employer(s). Needless to say, in the de novo exercise ordered to be carried out will be open for all the stakeholders to raise all issues as may be relevant,” the bench also comprising Justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph, said.

The high court on August 4 had quashed Delhi government’s March 2017 notification revising minimum wages for all classes of workmen in all scheduled employment, saying the “hurried” decision was taken without hearing the employers or employees.  As per the notification, the minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour were fixed at Rs 13,500, Rs 14,698 and Rs 16,182, respectively.

The decision by the court came on several pleas filed by various industrial units and companies who employ workers on minimum wages. The high court had also set aside a September 2016 notification by which a Minimum Wages Advisory Committee for all scheduled employments was set up, saying that its constitution was “completely flawed”. It, however, also said that the fixation of minimum wages in Delhi cannot be faulted simply because they are higher than the rates of minimum wages fixed in surrounding states and towns.

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