Citation: 2011 LLR 316
Court: High Court of Punjab and Haryana
Decided On: 01.02.2011
Respondent-company, for the purposes of determining its contribution under Employees Provident Fund & Misc. Provisions Act, 1952 (“Act“), was taking into consideration the basic wage as given to its employees. The Petitioner claimed that rates of minimum wages which ought to have been taken into consideration are not being done so by the Respondents and by splitting up the wage structure there is an evasion of its liability. The Tribunal held that the Respondents were right in
taking into consideration the basic wage of the employee for determining the contribution to the Fund.
- It is the minimum wage, as defined under Minimum Wages Act which is to be taken into consideration for determining the provident fund contribution and that the Tribunal was wrong in its interpretation.
- By not including the allowances in the basic wage, Respondents have deflated the share of the employees contribution.
- Definition of wages under the Minimum Wages Act is distinct from that of the basic wage under the Employees Provident Fund & Misc. Provisions Act and the provisions of one Act cannot be read into the other when the Legislative intent is clear since the Provident Fund Act was enacted subsequent to the enactment of the Minimum Wages Act. If the Legislature so
intended , it would have certainly read the definition of wage as provided under the Minimum Wages Act into the provisions of the Employees Provident Fund Act but instead it chose to provide a separate definition as it was conscious of the needs of the Legislation.
Under the provisions of the Employees Provident Fund Act, the definition of wage has an appended exclusion clause in which the various allowances which are quite broad in nature have been provided so as to enable the employee to determine its liability to make the contribution to the fund.
The Minimum Wages Act provides for a definition of wage which is distinct from that of the basic wage and that definition of wage includes within its ambit House Rent Allowance but does not include certain other allowances which are being detailed therein.
The objects and reasons of both the statutes are manifestly distinct even though they converge on the beneficial aspect of the welfare of an employee. The laws of
interpretation of statute also provides that nothing more is to be read into the language of a statute and the words are to be read and interpreted as they exist to
acknowledge the legislative intent.
Conclusion: The exclusion clause under the Act is fairly large and the exclusions made while determining the basic wage cannot be said to be unjustified unless they are totally at variance and in complete deviation of the concept of the allowances sought to be under the exclusion clause. Accordingly, it was held that Respondents have rightly excluded certain allowances such as House Rent Allowance, washing allowance and conveyance allowance while determining their liability towards the fund.
Author: Vivek Verma
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