(Prayer: This petition has been filed seeking for a writ of Certiorari calling for the records on the files of the 1st respondent bearing No.M.CA.213/2005 dated 31.10.2005 and quash the same in so far as it levis compensation amount at 200% of claim amount.)
This writ petition has been filed challenging the order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005, made in No.M.C.A.213 of 2005, allowing the claim application filed by the applicant, under the payment of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. The petitioner company, namely, Boss Infrastructures private limited, Chennai, had been directed to deposit the claim amount of Rs.48,890 and an amount of Rs.1,46,670, which is claim amount before the Assistant Labour Commissioner, (Central) Chennai, within the period specified in the order, dated 31.10.2005.
2. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioners had submitted that the impugned order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005, is arbitrary and illegal, as it is contrary to the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. The imposition of penalty of two times the claim amount cannot be sustained in the eye of law. In spite of the fact that proper records had been maintained, the first respondent had not considered the same, before passing the impugned order, dated 31.10.2005.
3. It had also been submitted that no proper opportunity had been given to the petitioners to substantiate their claims that there was no default in the payment of minimum wages to the employees. It had also been stated that the documents produced by the petitioners had not been considered, properly, by the first respondent, before he had passed the impunged order. Further, no proper reasons had been given for holding that the petitioner company was liable to pay the compensation and the penalty, as directed in the said order. The finding of the first respondent authority that the documents produced by the petitioners had been fabricated is incorrect, as it has been made without any basis.
4. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner had also relied on the decision, in MITTAL ENGINEERS AND CONTRACTORS Vs. CHIEF SECRETARY, GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI, AND OTHERS (2007 (2) L.L.N.577) and an unreported decision, dated 28.7.2010, made in W.P.No.4317 of 2006 (M/S.IDEAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT SECURITY AND DETECTIVES, REP. BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER, CHENNAI 600 019 Vs. REGIIONAL LABOUR COMMISSIONER (CENTRAL) AND OTHERS), in support of his contentions.
5. Per contra, the learned counsels appearing for the respondents had submitted that the writ petition filed by the petitioners is devoid of merits. They had further submitted that the impugned order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005, is correct and proper. It cannot be said that the findings of the first respondent in the impugned order, dated 31.10.2005, is ilegal and unsustainable in the eye of law. There is no evidence shown on behalf of the petitioners that the minimum wages had been paid to the employees, as claimed by them. The petitioners had produced the fabricated documents to substantiate their claims. As such, there is no infirmity in the impugned order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005.
6. In view of the averments made in the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition and in view of the averments made in the counter affidavits filed on behalf of the respondents and in view of the submissions made by the learned counsels appearing for the parties concerned, this Court is of the considered view that the petitioners have not shown sufficient cause or reason to grant the reliefs, as prayed for by the petitioners, in the present writ petition.
7. It is seen that nothing has been shown on behalf of the petitioners to substantiate their claims that the minimum wages had been paid to the employees concerned. Further, the petitioners had not been in a position to substantiate their claims that the documents relied on by them were genuine in nature, contrary to the findings of the first respondent.
8. From the perusal of the records available, it cannot be held that the petitioners had not been given proper opportunity to establish their claims. Even though eloborate reasons might not be available in the impugned order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005, it cannot be said that it is arbitrary or illegal. Even though the petitioners had relied on the decisions cited supra, this Court is of the considered view that the impugned order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005, cannot be held to be contrary to the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. As such, the writ petition is devoid of merits. Hence, it stands dismissed. If the petitioner had already deposited 1/3rd of the awarded amount, pursuant to the directions i
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ssued by this Court, while passing the interim order, dated 19.1.2006, made in W.P.M.P.No.1242 of 2006, in W.P.No.1120 of 2006, as per the impugned order of the first respondent, dated 31.10.2005, the petitioner company shall be liable to deposit the balance amount before the first respondent, within a period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, failing which it would be open to the authorities concerned to recover the amount in question, in accordance with the relevant provisions of law. No costs.