w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Kerala Private Hospitals Association v/s State of Kerala


Company & Directors' Information:- S V S HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TG2007PTC052534

Company & Directors' Information:- K P S HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TZ1994PTC004918

Company & Directors' Information:- V H M HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TN2009PTC073497

Company & Directors' Information:- D B R HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110TG2003PTC041648

Company & Directors' Information:- M M HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U85110UP1993PTC015371

Company & Directors' Information:- S A HOSPITALS LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110MH2002PLC136697

Company & Directors' Information:- M. B. HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85100HR2010PTC041489

Company & Directors' Information:- M G M I HOSPITALS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85195KA2010PTC052058

Company & Directors' Information:- M AND D HOSPITALS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U85110DL2002PTC117618

Company & Directors' Information:- S P HOSPITALS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U85110HP1992PTC012651

    W.P. (Civil) No. 18055 of 2016

    Decided On, 10 April 2018

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.B. SURESH KUMAR

    For the Appearing Parties: Adarsh Kumar, K. Anand, K.M. Aneesh, Biju Varghese Abraham, Dileep Chandran, N. Jagath, K.S. Manu, K.V. Sohan, N. Nagaresh, Santhosh Kumar, Advocates.



Judgment Text

1. The amendments introduced by the State Government to the Kerala Minimum Wages Rules (the Rules) framed under the Minimum Wages Act (the Act) in terms of the Kerala Minimum Wages (Amendment) Rules, 2015 (the Amendment Rules) , are under challenge in this batch of writ petitions. W.P.(C) No.18055 of 2016, in which the State has filed the counter affidavit, is treated as the lead case for the disposal of the matters.

2. In terms of the Amendment Rules, the State Government has introduced an information technology enabled Wage Protection System for ensuring payment of minimum wages to the employees in the scheduled employments specified in the Appendix to the Rules. The Amendment Rules, among others, mandate the employers of the scheduled employments specified in the Appendix to upload into the Wage Protection System provided by the Labour Commissionerate a Register of Employment and Wages in Form XIV three days prior to the payment of wages to their employees, issue wage slip to all employees through the Wage Protection System at least a day prior to the payment of wages and effect payment of wages to the employees through their individual bank accounts. The petitioners challenge the Amendment Rules on various grounds. Before dealing with the grounds of challenge raised by the petitioners, it is apposite to refer to the pleadings of the petitioners for comprehending their grievance.

3. The pleadings of the petitioners in the writ petitions are almost on the same lines and therefore, it is suffice to refer to the pleadings of the petitioners in the lead case. The petitioner therein is an association of Private Hospitals. Their case in the writ petition is that the Amendment Rules is not merely cumbersome and unworkable, the same is also destructive of the business interests of the members of the petitioner association. It is also their case that the Register of Employment and Wages introduced in terms of the Amendment Rules forces the establishments to divulge and expose private and confidential data. According to the petitioner, the purpose of the Act being only to ensure payment of minimum wages, the requirements in terms of the Amendment Rules to upload data which are extraneous to the purposes of the Act, is ultra vires the Act. It is alleged by the petitioner that disclosure of confidential information including salary packages of specialised personnel including doctors would adversely affect private hospitals, as the same is likely to create a situation of specialised personnel being poached upon by other players in the field, thus leading to chaos, instability and confusion in the sector. It is also alleged by the petitioner that disclosure of sensitive employee and management information would also lead to loss of employee trust, confidence and loyalty which will inevitably result in loss of productivity. According to the petitioner, such information being of a confidential nature, if the same is allowed to be publically accessed, it would lead to violation of the right of the members of the petitioner association to protect their trade secrets and business strategies which, in turn would violate the rights of the members of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 19(1) of the Constitution.

4. The pleadings of the State Government comprise of the statement dated 30.05.2016 filed in W.P.(C) No.18055 of 2016, the affidavit filed in the said case dated 04.06.2016 as also the counter affidavit filed in the said matter dated 10.07.2017. It is stated, among others, by the State Government in its pleadings that the Wage Protection System aims at ensuring and monitoring disbursement of minimum wages to employees working in scheduled employments specified in the Appendix to the Rules through their bank accounts, without conducting inspections at the establishments. It is stated that though minimum wages for employees in different sectors have been fixed, several employers refuse to comply with the norms and compel their staff to work for meagre salaries and the Wage Protection System has been mooted in the wake of a flood of complaints received by the Government in this regard. It is stated that by implementing the Wage Protection System, compliance of the provisions of the Act can be ensured and the grievances of the employees can be redressed to a greater extent. With reference to the averments made by the petitioner in W.P.(C) No.18055 of 2016, it is stated in the pleadings by the State Government that the Amendment Rules do not cast upon employers any obligation to make disclosures of private employee information; that the data furnished in terms of the Amendment Rules by the employers are not accessible to public; that the same can be viewed only by the employer and the inspectors concerned; that even the employers and the inspectors concerned can log on to the system only by using the unique user ID and password allotted to them; that an employee cannot view the salary details of other employees in the establishment; that similarly an employer cannot also access the data uploaded by other employers; that only encrypted data is transferred to the banks and that therefore, the question of misuse of the data furnished by an employer does not arise at all. As regards the access the officers have over the data furnished by the employers, it is stated that they are otherwise empowered in terms of the provisions of the Act to access the data by conducting inspections in the premises of the establishments.

5. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners as also the learned State Attorney.

6. The learned counsel for the petitioners contended that some of the provisions of the Amendment Rules are contrary to the provisions of the Act and the rest are far beyond the scope of the Act. Placing reliance on Section 11 of the Act, it was contended by the learned counsel that in so far as Section 11 of the Act mandates payment of minimum wages in cash, the Wage Protection System which mandates payment of minimum wages otherwise than in accordance with Section 11 of the Act, is ultra vires the Act. It was also contended by the learned counsel, placing reliance on Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act that the State Government cannot take away the discretion of the employers to effect payment of wages either by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employees and the Amendment Rules, in so far as it compels the employers to effect payment of wages by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employees is repugnant to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act and therefore, repugnant to the scheme of the Act as well and ultra vires the Act in that sense too. Placing reliance on Section 18 of the Act, it was also contended by the learned counsel that the Act provides for maintenance of registers and records only in physical form and the provisions in the Amendment Rules directing maintenance of registers and records in electronic media are also ultra vires the Act. It was also contended by the learned counsel that most of the mandatory information sought in terms of Form XIV to be uploaded have nothing to do with the Act nor its objective and that therefore, Form XIV, in so far as it relates to matters not covered by the Act are substantively ultra vires. It was further contended by the learned counsel that the provision introduced in terms of the Amendment Rules which mandates submission of Register of Employment and Wages three days prior to the crediting of wages in the individual bank account of the employees and insistence to issue electronically generated wage slips to all employees at least a day prior to the date of effecting payment of wages, are contrary to Section 18 of the Act providing for maintenance of registers and records, after effecting payment of wages and hence ultra vires the Act. It was further contended by the learned counsel that the definition of wages vary from statute to statute, depending upon the purpose, scope and ambit of the enactment and the requirement in terms of Amendment Rules to furnish details of the payments effected under other statutes, would therefore, create confusion, lack of clarity and ambiguity. It was further contended by the learned counsel that the petitioners who have operations beyond the territory of the State and who have centralized wage payment system in place, the provisions in the Amendment Rules which oblige them to furnish details exclusively for the employees in the State, is cumbersome and troublesome. It was further contended by the learned counsel that only six employments in the scheduled employments are included in the Appendix to the Rules and there are absolutely no reason for excluding other scheduled employments from the requirement of the Wage Protection System. According to the petitioners, the Amendment Rules is, therefore, discriminatory too. It was further contended by the learned counsel that it is easy to access data from any system in today's digitized world and therefore, the requirement to provide sensitive information like salary, allowances, etc. of the employees to a public information system, would be prejudicial to the interests of the employers.

7. Per contra, the learned State Attorney pointed out that having regard to the objections raised by the employers, the Rules have been further amended in terms of the Kerala Minimum Wages (Amendment) Rules, 2017 by which columns 25, 27 and 28 have been deleted from Form XIV introduced in terms of the Amendment Rules. According to the learned State Attorney, if one looks at the remaining provisions of the Amendment Rules, in light of the amendment introduced to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, the provisions contained in the Information Technology Act as also the provisions of the Rules already in vogue, none of the provisions of the Amendment Rules would be ultra vires the statute.

8. I have given my thoughtful consideration to the contentions raised by the learned counsel on either side.

9. Before dealing with the contentions of the parties, it will be beneficial to remind myself of the grounds on which a subordinate legislation, as in the instant case, could be challenged in a proceedings of this nature. A quote of the passages dealing with the principles from the decision of the Apex Court in State of T.N. v. P.Krishnamuthy, (2006) 4 SCC 517 is suffice, according to me, for the purpose. The following are the passages dealing with the principles in the said decision of the Apex Court:

15. There is a presumption in favour of constitutionality or validity of a subordinate legislation and the burden is upon him who attacks it to show that it is invalid. It is also well recognised that a subordinate legislation can be challenged under any of the following grounds:

(a) Lack of legislative competence to make the subordinate legislation.

(b) Violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

(c) Violation of any provision of the Constitution of India.

(d) Failure to conform to the statute under which it is made or exceeding the limits of authority conferred by the enabling Act.

(e) Repugnancy to the laws of the land, that is, any enactment.

(f) Manifest arbitrariness/unreasonableness (to an extent where the court might well say that the legislature never intended to give authority to make such rules) .

16. The court considering the validity of a subordinate legislation, will have to consider the nature, object and scheme of the enabling Act, and also the area over which power has been delegated under the Act and then decide whether the subordinate legislation conforms to the parent statute. Where a rule is directly inconsistent with a mandatory provision of the statute, then, of course, the task of the court is simple and easy. But where the contention is that the inconsistency or non-conformity of the rule is not with reference to any specific provision of the enabling Act, but with the object and scheme of the parent Act, the court should proceed with caution before declaring invalidity.

In the light of the aforesaid principles, the petitioners are certainly entitled to challenge the Amendment Rules on the ground that the same do not conform to the Act as also that the same is issued exceeding the limits of the authority conferred by the Act. The question, therefore, is whether the petitioners have succeeded in establishing their case that the Amendment Rules do not conform to the Act or that the same is exceeding the limits of authority conferred by the Act. I shall now move on to consider the contentions of the parties.

10. It is beyond dispute that payment of wages to employees including the employees in the scheduled employments under the Act is governed by the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act prior to Act 1 of 2017 provided that all wages shall be paid in current coin or currency notes or in both. Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act has been amended in terms of Act 1 of 2017. The amended Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act provides now that all wages shall be paid in current coin or currency notes or by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee. The proviso to the amended Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act clarifies that the appropriate government may, by notification in the official Gazette, specify the industrial or other establishment, the employer of which shall pay to every person employed in such industrial or other establishment, the wages only by cheque or by crediting the wages in his bank account. It is seen that pursuant to the aforesaid amendment introduced to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, the State Government has specified in terms of Ext.R1(b) notification that the employers of scheduled employments included in the Appendix to the Rules shall pay to every person employed in such employments wages only by cheque or by crediting the wages in his bank account. Section 11 of the Act has to be understood in the light of the provision contained in Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act. Section 11 of the Act reads thus:

11. Wages in kind.-

(1) Minimum wages payable under this Act shall be paid in cash.

(2) Where it has been the custom to pay wages wholly or partly in kind, the appropriate Government being of the opinion that it is necessary in the circumstances of the case may, by notification in the Official Gazette, authorize the payment of minimum wages either wholly or partly in kind.

(3) If the appropriate Government is of the opinion that provision should be made for the supply of essential commodities at concession rates, the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, authorize the provision of such supplies at concession rates.

(4) The cash value of wages in kind and of concessions in respect of supplies of essential commodities at concession rates authorized under sub-sections (2) and (3) shall be estimated in the prescribed manner.

If Section 11 of the Act is understood in the background of Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, it is clear that Section 11 of the Act is only a provision dealing with payment of wages in kind in contradistinction to payment of wages in cash. The contention of the petitioners that the provision in the Amendment Rules which obliges the employers to effect payment of wages through the bank account of the employees is repugnant to Section 11 of the Act is, therefore, unsustainable. It is all the more so since the provision in Section 11 of the Act is that the minimum wages shall be paid in cash and not in current coin or currency note as stipulated in the unamended Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act. The contention raised by the petitioners is unsustainable also for the reason that effecting payment of wages through the bank account of the employee is also a mode of payment in cash, in contradistinction to a mode of payment in kind.

11. The contention of the petitioners that in so far as the Amendment Rules which compel the employers to effect payment of wages by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employees is repugnant to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, the same is repugnant to the scheme of the Act also and hence ultra vires the Act, according to me, is equally unsustainable. Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act reads thus:

6. Wages to be paid in current coin or currency notes or by cheque or crediting in bank account.--All wages shall be paid in current coin or currency notes or by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee: Provided that the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the industrial or other establishment, the employer of which shall pay to every person employed in such industrial or other establishment, the wages only by cheque or by crediting the wages in his bank account." The contention of the petitioners is that while the main provision in Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act confers discretion on the employers to effect payment either by current coin or currency notes or by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee, the State Governments have been empowered in terms of the proviso only to direct the employers to effect payment of wages either by cheque or by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee. According to the petitioners, in exercise of the power under the proviso to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act, the State Government cannot direct the employers to effect payment only by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee and thereby take away the discretion conferred under Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act to effect payment by cheque as well. A close reading of the proviso to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act would indicate beyond doubt that in terms of the said provision, the State Government is empowered to insist the employers to effect payment of wages only by cheque or only by crediting the wages in the bank account of the employee, for, otherwise, it was unnecessary to use the word 'only' in the proviso and it would have been appropriate for the State Government to use the word 'either' in the place of the word 'only'.

12. Section 18 of the Act reads thus:

"18. Maintenance of registers and records.-

(1) Every employer shall maintain such registers and records giving such particulars of employees employed by him, the work performed by them, the wages paid to them, the receipts given by them and such other particulars and in such form as may be prescribed.

(2) Every employer shall keep exhibited, in such manner as may be prescribed, in the factory, workshop or place where the employees in the scheduled employment may be employed, or in the case of out workers, in such factory, workshop or place as may be used for giving out-work to them, notices in the prescribed form containing prescribed particulars.

(3) The appropriate Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the issue of wage books or wage slips to employees employed in any scheduled employment in respect of which minimum rates of wages have been fixed and prescribe the manner in which entries shall be made and authenticated in such wage books or wage slips by the employer or his agent." The contention of the petitioners is that the said provision provides for maintenance of registers and records only in physical form and the provisions in the Amendment Rules directing maintenance of registers and records in electronic media are ultra vires the Act. Section 7 of the Information Technology Act 2000 clarifies that where any law provides that documents, records or information shall be retained, then, that requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied, if such requirements, records or information are retained in the electronic form. Here in the instant case, the authority empowered to ensure compliance of the provisions of the Act themselves have evolved an information system for maintenance of the various registers and records required to be maintained by the employers under the Act and in terms of the Amendment Rules, the employers are only required to upload the registers and records in the information system. In the light of the provisions contained the Information Technology Act, there is no substance in the said contention as well.

13. Yet another contention raised by the petitioners placing reliance on the provisions contained in Section 18 of the Act is that the records are to be maintained in terms of the provisions in the said section after the payment of wages, whereas the requirement in terms of the Amendment Rules is to upload the Register of Employment and Wages in Form XIV before the payment of wages and therefore, the provisions in the Amendment Rules is ultra vires the Act. It is evident from the reading of Section 18 of the Act extracted above that the requirement in terms of the provisions therein is that every employer shall maintain registers and records indicating the particulars of the employees employed by them, the work performed by them as also the wages paid to them. The purpose of the statutory requirements contained in Section 18 of the Act is only to ensure payment of minimum wages to the employees in the scheduled employments. If one understands the provisions of Section 18 of the Act in the background of the object of the legislation, it cannot be contended that merely for the reason that the Register of Employment and Wages containing the particulars of wages payable to the employees is required to be uploaded to the information system before effecting payment, the same would contravene the provisions contained section 18 of the Act, for, the purpose of the statutory requirement is only to ensure payment of minimum wages to the employees in scheduled employments.

14. The next contention of the petitioners is that most of the mandatory information sought in terms of Form XIV to be uploaded have nothing to do with the Act nor its objective and therefore, Form XIV, in so far as it relates to matters not covered by the Act are substantively ultra vires. In fact, focus of most of the counsel appeared for the petitioners in this batch of writ petitions was on this point. It is seen that in terms of the provisions contained in the Amendment Rules, the employers complying with the provisions contained in the Amendment Rules have been absolved from their obligation to maintain the registers in Form I, Form II, Form V and Form XI of the Rules. In other words, the requirement to upload the Register of Employment and Wages in Form XIV is one introduced in the place of the registers in Form I, Form II, Form V and Form XI under the unamended Rules. The newly introduced Form XIV in terms of the Amendment Rules contained 44 columns. It is seen that the Government has later amended the Rules further in terms of the Kerala Minimum Wages (Amendment) Rules 2017 and the requirement to furnish information in terms of columns 25, 27 and 28 of Form XIV has been dispensed with. In the light of the said amendment, Form XIV now contains only 41 columns. The question to be examined therefore, is as to whether any of the requirements in terms of the aforesaid 41 columns, go beyond the scope of the statute.

15. A close scrutiny of the requirements in terms of the newly introduced Register of Employment and Wages in Form XIV indicates that the requirements therein against Columns 2 to 4, 6, 14, 18 to 20, 22, 23, 28, 29, 31 to 41 were already there in terms of the Registers in Forms XI and XII of the unamended Rules. In so far as the petitioners have not challenged the said requirements anytime prior to the introduction of the Amendment Rules, it can be taken that they have no grievance concerning the said requirements. Out of the remaining, Column 1 deals with the requirement to provide employee code, Column 7 deals with the requirement to provide designation/grade of the employee, Column 8 deals with the requirement to provide the date of joining of the employee, Column 9 deals with the requirement to provide the mobile number of the employee, Column 10 deals with the requirement to provide the e-mail ID of the employee, Column 11 deals with the requirement to provide the name of the bank of the employee, Column 12 deals with the requirement to provide the IFC code of the bank of the employee and Column 13 deals with the requirement to provide the bank account number of the employee. None raised any objection against the above requirements in terms of the Amendment Rules.

16. Column 15 of Form XIV deals with the requirement to provide loss of pay days of the employee. In the light of Section 15 of the Act and Rule 24 of the Rules, it cannot be contended that the said requirement is unnecessary to ascertain whether the employee has been paid minimum wages. Similar is the case as regards the requirement called for in terms of Column 16. Column 16 of Form XIV deals with the requirement to provide the particulars of the weekly off availed by the employee. In the light of Rule 23 of the Rules, it cannot be contended that the said requirement has nothing to do with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act. Likewise, one cannot be heard to contend that the number of leave availed by the employee has nothing to do with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act, for, if an employee avails leave in excess of his/her eligibility, he/she has to suffer loss of pay. It is conceded by the petitioners that in some of the notifications issued under the Act fixing the minimum wages payable to the employees, there is reference to the city compensatory allowance as well. As such, it cannot be contended that the requirement in terms of Column 21 of Form XIV is alien to the requirements under the statute. Likewise, the requirement in terms of Column 24 concerning the leave wages received by the employee is also a component to be reckoned for the purpose of satisfying compliance of the provisions of the Act. Column 25 of Form XIV deals with the requirement to provide the particulars of the arrears paid to the employee, Column 26 deals with the requirement to provide the particulars of the other allowances given to the employee and Column 27 deals with the particulars of the advances given to the employee. Though at the first blush, it would appear that the said requirements have nothing to do with the payment of minimum wages, on a closer analysis I have no doubt that it cannot be contended that the same has nothing to do with the payment of minimum wages. Assuming in a given case there was short payment for a period and if the said short payment is compensated later, if the particulars of arrears so paid is not disclosed in the records, the employer will be put to peril unnecessarily. Likewise, according to me, the particulars of other allowances sought in terms of Column 26 is also for the benefit of the employer and to avoid unnecessary proceedings under the Act and it cannot be contended that such payments have nothing to do with the provisions of the Act. As regards the requirement in terms of Column 27, it appears that the said information is called for, for the purpose of verifying whether the deductions effected from the wages affect the payment of minimum wages. The contention of the petitioners that the requirements sought in terms of Form XIV introduced as per the terms of Amendment Rules have nothing to do with the enforcement of the Act is, therefore, only to be rejected.

17. The next contention of the petitioners is that the definition of wages vary from Statute to Statute, depending upon the purpose, scope and ambit of the enactment and the requirement in terms of Amendment Rules to furnish details of the payments effected under other statutes, would therefore create confusion, lack of clarity and ambiguity. First of all, I do not agree with the case set up by the petitioner that if the employers are compelled to disclose the particulars of the contributions made in respect of the employees under other statutes, the same would create confusion, lack of clarity and ambiguity. Further, the same is also not a ground to set at naught a subordinate legislation, though the court may in appropriate cases read down such subordinate legislations in a fashion as to avoid the confusion, lack of clarity and ambiguity.

18. The next contention of the petitioners is that the petition

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ers who have operations beyond the territory of the State and who have centralized wage payment system in place, the provisions in the Amendment Rules which oblige them to furnish details exclusively for the employees in the State is cumbersome and troublesome. I am afraid, the inconvenience caused to a party is also not a ground to set at naught a subordinate legislation. 19. The next contention of the petitioners to be dealt with is their contention that only six employments in the scheduled employments are included in the Appendix to the Rules and there are absolutely no reason for excluding other scheduled employments from the requirement of the Wage Protection System. The explanation offered by the State for not introducing Wage Protection System for all the scheduled employments is that the Wage Protection System can be introduced only to computer literate establishments and the Government will gradually introduce the system in all the scheduled employments. In the light of the aforesaid explanation offered by the State Government, the petitioners cannot be heard to contend that the State Government has discriminated the employers in the employments included in the Annexure to the Rules. 20. As regards the contention of the petitioners that it is easy to access data from any system in today's digitized world and therefore, the requirement to provide sensitive information like salary, allowances, etc. of the employees to a public information system, would be prejudicial to the interests of the employers. I am afraid, the petitioners are not entitled to challenge the Amendment Rules on the aforesaid ground. Further, in the light of the various safeguards taken by the State Government to protect the data provided by the employers into the information system, according to me, the apprehension of the petitioners that their data will be misused is misplaced. 21. Before parting with this case, I must observe that the Governments in our country have been far behind in the matter deploying technological advances for efficient good governance. Information technology has changed in course of time the concept of delivering services. It provided efficient alternative to the traditional services and policy implementation. It has eliminated human errors and increased the transparency, accountability as also public participation. Though late on time, the State Government has introduced a device with the aid of information technology to ensure compliance of the provisions of the Act, without conducting physical verification of the records maintained at the establishments spread over the State. The employers, according to me, should have welcomed the implementation of the Wage Protection System and avoided inconveniences caused to them on account of the frequent visits of officials in their establishments, for I do not find any reason for a bona fide employer to be aggrieved by the changes brought into the statutory rules. The writ petitions, in the circumstances, are devoid of merits and the same are, accordingly, dismissed. The issues raised in the writ petitions which are not dealt with in this judgment are left open.
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