NOTIFICATION FOR RELAXATION OF LABOUR LAWS CHALLENGED: SC ISSUES NOTICE

The Supreme Court in the case of Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha and Another v. State of Gujarat has issued notice to the State of Gujarat. The petition had challenged the decision of the State government wherein the factories were exempted from complying with the provisions of the Factories Act pertaining to work works, overtime wages, etc. The alleged notification was passed under Section 5 of the Act.

Along with these exemptions, the Gujarat government allowed the overtime hours to be compensated as normal working wages per hour. The payment of double wages for overtime hours was also exempted. The contention in the petition was that the notification is blatantly against Section 59 of the Factories Act, wherein it has been mandated that in the excess of 9 hours in a day, wages must be paid at double the ordinary rate.

The State’s action has been challenged to be ultra vires stating that Section 5 can be applied only in cases of an emergency. Further, it has been contended that Section 5 of the Factories Act protects the rights of the workers when they are socially and economically vulnerable. The division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice K. M. Joseph has listed the matter on 1st September 2020.

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