The Supreme Court has decided to hear from September 14 the issue of implementation of the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board for journalists and non-journalists.
A bench comprising justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma said that after hearing the contesting parties it will take “some decision."
During the brief hearing, Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi, submitted that the Centre was unable to take a decision on the issue of issuing notification for the implementation of the award of the Wage Board as the matter has been pending in the apex court.
The court on July 18 had asked the Government to refrain from taking any decision on the implementation of the recommendations of the Wage Board for two weeks.
At the outset, senior advocate K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) said he was filing a petition on behalf of the INS and the main arguments would be advanced by senior advocate Fali Nariman on behalf of the ABP (Anand Bazar Patrika) Pvt. Ltd, which first challenged the recommendation of the Wage Board.
After ABP, several other media houses including Bennett Coleman Co.Ltd, publisher of The Times of India and news agency United News of India (UNI), filed the petitions opposing the Award of the Wage Board.
The court issued notices on their petitions.
An advocate appearing for the ABP Pvt. Ltd said there was no reply from the government on the merits of the petition filed by it.
However, this submission was opposed by the ASG, who said the Centre has filed its reply on the merits and termed the ABP’s petition as “totally premature”.
Mr. Tripathi said there was no notification for the implementation of the Wage Board and as such no cause of action has arisen to oppose the Wage Board award.
He said the petition was not maintainable and therefore the government should be allowed to go ahead to issue notification for its implementation.
The ASG’s submission was supported by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who, appearing for five federations representing journalists and non-journalists, said that the whole premises of the petition filed by ABP and others against the implementation of the Wage Board was wrong.
Mr. Gonsalves said in the past also wages have been fixed according to the awards of the Wage Board and those covered under the Act are entitled for the wages according the fresh recommendations.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, opposed the Wage Board award, saying that the Act governing it was outdated and it also does not include electronic media.
During the last hearing the government had insisted on the implementation of the recommendations during the pendency of case.
Mr. Tripathi had said the report should be allowed to be implemented subject to the outcome of the final decision of the matter.
Source : The Hindu.