Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Non-payment of minimum wages

The Gujarat high court has sought explanation from the State as well as the Centre on the issue of Shishu Gruh workers, who are being paid less than the minimum wage prescribed by the law.

By way of filing a PIL through advocate Anand Yagnik, the workers in Odhav Shishu Gruh have challenged the payment system on which they have been employed by the state government. They have claimed that they are being paid fixed amount of Rs 2,000 per month, which is less than the stipulated Rs 134 per day that an unskilled labourer is entitled to get.

The women working in Shishu Gruhs have sought HC intervention in this issue as many people have been employed in such centres in all cities and towns across the state. They are hired mainly under the Scheme of Assistance to Homes for Children to promote adoption in the country. The petitioners have contended that non-payment of minimum wage is an offence punishable in accordance with the law. They have argued that the government authorities should also be punished for this offence. And since they are part of the state, their offence becomes much more grave and serious. They further submitted that even if the scheme under which they have been employed expires, the governments cannot pay less than minimum wages to the employees.

Abench headed by chief justice issued notices to the directorate of social justice & empowerment, superintendent of Nari Sanrakshan Gruh and the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) of the ministry of society justice & empowerment in New Delhi.

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