Enhancement of Minimum Wages always Prospective- Allahabad HC

In the case of Kaptan Singh And Another vs Sri Raj Narayan And Another [FIRST APPEAL FROM ORDER No. – 1360 of 2020], the Allahabad High Court dismissed an appeal on the ground that the enhanced compensation is prospective.

The Facts of Kaptan Singh And Another vs Sri Raj Narayan And Another [FIRST APPEAL FROM ORDER No. – 1360 of 2020] are:

Background:-

Claimants filed an appeal against the order passed by Commissioner under the Employees Compensation Act, 1923 at Kanpur. The claimants allege that the income of the deceased has been adjudged at Rs. 8000 even though he was drawing a salary of Rs 12000 per month. The claimants had also contended that the minimum wage for skilled labour who met with an accident is supposed to be Rs.9873.

The counsel for the claimant argued that the wage should have been calculated at least at the minimum wage which the authorities failed to do. They also stated that as per the provisions Employees Compensation Act, the central government may specify the wages of the employee as it may consider necessary.

Basis of the Judgment

Justice Vivek Agarwal acknowledged that vide gazette notification dated 3.01.20 the minimum wage has been increased to Rs.15000; however, it is not retrospective. The Court relied on two case laws:-

  1. Supreme Court decision in K Shivaraman and others vs P. Sathishkumar and Another, where it was held that the amendment that increases the minimum compensation is not retrospective in nature.
  2. Kerala State Electricity Board Vs Valsala K. and others 1999 (8) SCC 254 where the SC held that if an accident took place prior to coming into force of the amendment, then the rate of compensation will be based on the amount fixed by the previous amendment.

The decision of the Court

The Court held that as the accident occurred before the amendment, to increase the compensation came into force, the amount of Rs. 8000 that was adjudged by the commissioner is correct.

Due to all the facts mentioned above, the Court dismissed the appeal.

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