The Supreme Court ruled today that all newspaper establishments have to implement the Majithia Wage Board recommendations on salaries for both journalists and non-journalist employees.
The order was passed by a vacation Bench of the Apex court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The Bench stated that the Act would also extend to contractual employees, who will be eligible for Wage Board benefits. However, the court stated that it would not initiate contempt proceedings against organisations that have failed to implement the Wage Board. The order said: “…none of the newspaper establishments should, in the facts of the cases before us, be held guilty of commission of contempt, we direct that henceforth all complaints with regard to non-implementation of the Majithia Wage Board Award or otherwise be dealt with in terms of the mechanism provided under Section 17 of the Act. It would be more appropriate to resolve such complaints and grievances by resort to the enforcement and remedial machinery provided under the Act rather than by any future approaches to the Courts in exercise of the contempt jurisdiction of the Courts or otherwise. 28. Insofar as the writ petitions seek.”
Newspaper owners have to pay their employees the revised/determined wages by the wage board payable from November 11, 2011, when the Government of India notified the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board. All the arrears are to be paid in four equal instalments within a period of one year to all the eligible persons. The revised wages are to become payable from April 2014.