(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed under Section 82(2) of the Employee State Insurance Act, 1948, to set aside the decree and judgment of the Employees' State Insurance (cum)Labour Court, Madurai, passed in E.S.I.O.P.No.41 of 2011 dated 13.06.2019 as illegal, arbitrary and allow the above appeal with cost.)
1. This Civil Miscellaneous Appeal has been filed to set aside the decree and judgment, dated 13.06.2019 in E.S.I.O.P.No.41 of 2011, passed by the learned Judge, Labour Court, Madurai.
2. The respondent herein/Petitioner has filed a petition in E.S.I.O.P. No.41 of 2011 on the file of the Labour Court, Madurai, under Section 75(1) (g) of the E.S.I.Act, to quash the impugned order in No. 57/CO/047766/000/0101/MEC/INS.II/SRO/MDU/98/09, dated, 28.04.2011, passed by the appellant herein claiming contribution of Rs.2,28,266/-from the respondent herein and to declare that the respondent herein is not liable to remit any contribution on tiffin allowance, washing allowance, conveyance allowance, exgratia inam, attendance bonus, production bonus and medical allowance and for Costs. The learned Judge, Labour Court, Madurai has passed an order and set aside the impugned order passed by the appellant herein, on 13.06.2019. Aggrieved by the said order, the present Civil Miscellaneous Appeal has been filed.
3. Heard on either side. Perused the material documents placed on record.
4. The learned Labour Judge has allowed the petition and set aside the impugned order No.57/CO/047766/000/0101/MEC/INS.II/SRO/MDU/98/09, dated, 28.04.2011, passed by the appellant herein claiming contribution of Rs.2,28,266/-from the respondent herein and declared that the respondent herein is not liable to remit any contribution on tiffin allowance, washing allowance, conveyance allowance, exgratia inam, attendance bonus, production bonus and medical allowance.
5. Eventhough, the appellant has raised two substantial issues, he has restricted his arguments to whether conveyance allowance paid to the employees comes under wages and the employer has to pay contribution on conveyance allowance?.
6. The ingredients of Section 2(22) of E.S.I. Act, is extracted hereunder:
“(22). “wages” means all remuneration paid or payable, in cash to an employee, if the terms of the contract of employment, express or implied, were fulfilled and includes [any payment to an employee in respect of any period of authorised leave, lock-out, strike which is not illegal or lay-off and] other additional remuneration, if any, [paid at intervals not exceeding two months] but does not include-
(a) any contribution paid by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund, or under this Act;
(b)any travelling allowance or the value of any travelling concession;
(c)any sum paid to the person employed to defray special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment; or
(d)any gratuity payable on discharge. ”
7. The Judgment passed by the Division Bench of this Court, reported in 2002(1)LLJ 14 in the case of The management of Oriental Hotels., Chennai Vs. Employees' State Insurance Corporation, Chennai, is extracted hereunder:
“8. In so far as the conveyance allowance is concerned, even though it forms part of the wages being the amount payable in terms of the contract of employment, having regard to the settlement and even de hors the settlement, the payment of the amount would fall within the ambit of 'additional remuneration'. Nevertheless, that amount will have to be excluded having regard to the specific exclusion provided in the definition itself for travelling allowance or the value of any travelling concession. The conveyance allowance paid is in the nature of travelling allowance as the object of that payment is to enable the employee to reach his place of work and to defray a part of the cost incurred on the ravel from his place of residence to the place of work. If instead of paying the conveyance allowance, the employer had provided free transport to the employees, the monetary value of that benefit of free travel from his residence to the place of work would not have been capable of being regarded as forming part of the wages. The conveyance allowance paid in cash for the purpose of being utilised on the travel from place of residence to the place of work, is of the same character and there is no reason why it should not be regarded as travelling allowance for the purpose of Section 2(22)(b), of the Employees' S
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tate Insurance Act. ” 8. The conveyance allowance is excluded from the terms 'wages'. Therefore, the Judge, Labour Court, Madurai, has rightly allowed the claim of the respondent herein. Hence, this Court has no valid reason to interfere with the findings of the Labour Court. 9. Finally, this Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is dismissed by confirming the decree and judgment, dated 13.06.2019 in E.S.I.O.P.No.41 of 2011, passed by the learned Judge, Labour Court, Madurai. No Costs.